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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 29, 2005

UI To Recognize October As National Work And Family Month

The University of Iowa will recognize October as National Work and Family month to call attention to the many programs it offers that make life easier for employees and help improve productivity.

"Numerous studies have shown work-life balance is a key predictor of job performance, job satisfaction, commitment to employers and retention," said Laura Reed, director of the university's organizational effectiveness office. "Supporting work-life balance is the right thing to do for the employee, their families and their coworkers. Helping our employees make their lives easier has bottom line results for the university."

Work-life balance is the ability to effectively manage work, family and personal life. According to statistics gathered by the National Work-Life Initiative, 85 percent of U.S. wage and salaried workers have immediate, day-to-day family responsibilities off the job, and 16 percent of wage and salaried workers are parents with children under the age of 18 who live with them at least half time. Nearly one out of every four Americans -- more than 45 million Americans total -- provided or arranged care for a family member or friend in the past year.

"There are a lot of responsibilities on workers today that can't help but influence their work performance," said Joni Troester, director of the university's WorkLife office. "To help them deal with those pressures, the university offers services through WorkLife that support our employees, their work and their families."

Among the programs available to UI employees are consultation and resources for flexible work arrangements, child care services, elder care information and problem-solving, lactation rooms, employee assistance programs that practice one-on-one and family counseling, wellness, and rewards and recognition. In addition, a number of individual programs help employees address such issues as improved nutrition and fitness, programs that recognize good work by staff members and the Improving Our Workplace Award (IOWA), presented annually to employees who help make the university a better place to work.

UI WorkLife is a unit of organizational effectiveness, which is part of human resources at the University of Iowa. To learn more about the services that OE has to offer, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/hr/oe/

A list of UI events that occur during National Work and Family Month is available online at http://www.uiowa.edu/hr/oe/worklife/national_month.shtml

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010, tom-snee@uiowa.edu.