January 2019



We all need a little flexibility from time to time. In fact, a recent survey found that 96 percent of working professionals say they need flexibility in the workplace—but only 47 percent receive it.

At Harvard, flexible work arrangements—also known as “flexwork” or “flex”—are workplace arrangements that diverge from the standard 9-to-5, in-the-office approach, providing greater freedom in terms of when and where you work. Harvard offers two types of flexwork:

  • Occasional: a one-time or intermittent arrangement that may not require a formal proposal
  • Formal: an ongoing change to your regular way of working, which requires a formal proposal

Why do we support these work arrangements? We believe flexibility can help employees perform consistently at the highest levels, work together efficiently, and meet the University’s mission and business objectives, while maintaining a high quality of life. It also plays an important role in meeting the University’s sustainability goals.

Want more flexibility? Here’s what you need to know:

  • The Office of Work/Life offers guidelines to help create flex arrangements.
  • Anyone can apply for a flexwork arrangement.
  • To help your managers evaluate your proposal based on business merit, describe where and how you’ll get your job done in your proposal, and leave out the personal reasons.

To learn more, register for an upcoming informational session.

Finding Meaning and Purpose


In the busyness of everyday life, it can be easy to focus exclusively on the task at hand. But have you ever stopped to think about how your work affects the people around you, or society as a whole? As you start the new year, consider ways to find more meaning and purpose in your career with Harvard resources.

The Good Project, an initiative of the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero, has created the free GoodWork Toolkit, a flexible curriculum of interactive activities designed to help you make your work count and follow a career path that will remain meaningful for you over the long haul.

Work in a team environment? Develop, nurture, and reflect on ideas for making the most of your time working with others through the materials in the Good Collaboration Toolkit. Or start a conversation about Good Work with your kids or other young children using the Elementary GoodWork Toolkit.

Ultimately, when you find meaning in your work, you’re more likely to grow rather than stagnate. Not only will you do more—you’ll do it better.

Mind & Body

From work to play, make the most of your time with these Harvard resources.

  • Whether you’re interested in hiking, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing, hit the trails this winter at the Harvard Forest in Petersham, Massachusetts.
  • The Harvard Longwood Campus Workshop offers a variety of classes, from career development to flexwork to meditation for employees at Longwood. See the updated schedule here.
  • Explore these ergonomics resources from the Department of Environmental Health & Safety to discover ways to increase your comfort, work safely, and decrease injury risk in the workplace.

Learning & Growing

Want to jump start your New Year’s resolutions? Learn a new skill or improve existing ones at Harvard.

  • Check out our Center for Workforce Development Managing at Harvard Programs to develop the skills you need to thrive in your role—just like Pam Burton, who became a more effective leader using CWD tools.
  • From work presentations to wedding toasts, learn to speak in front of audiences of all sizes in our two-day Introduction to Presentation Skills course (HarvardKey required), March 12 and 15.
  • Want to take your public speaking skills to the next level? Join other Harvard community members in the Crimson Toastmasters Club.

Living & Working

A new year marks a new beginning. Enrich your life by taking advantage of a variety of Office of Work/Life programs and resources.

  • The new Office of Work/Life program calendar is here! Start the year off right by registering for a class today.
  • Deepen your understanding of wellbeing by participating in Flourish, a webinar based on the findings of positive psychology thought leader Martin Seligman. Register here.
  • Winter break is over, but February school vacation is just around the corner. Make plans for the kids with these resources.

Finances & Security

Want to try something new in 2019? These resources can help.

  • Explore your artistic side with workshops from the Harvard Ceramics Studio. Course fees are covered by TAP, though additional lab fees may apply.
  • Invest in your financial wellbeing this year and start 2019 off right by attending one of the classes or webinars on the January/February financial education calendar.
  • Looking to immerse yourself in the latest best seller or a favorite classic? With your Harvard Library access, you have the world’s largest university collection at your fingertips! Just go online, find your next book, and request to pick it up at a library close to you.