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Vision

MSU supports all of its faculty and staff to connect and navigate multiple roles throughout workplace, career and life transitions.

Mission

The WorkLife Office partners with the community to create an inclusive, responsive work environment where all faculty and staff are respected and supported toward well-being in work and personal lives.

Values 

Reflecting MSU's values of quality, inclusiveness and connectivity, the WorkLife Office strives for excellence, equity and synergy.

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Services & Resources

News

It’s an unpleasant scenario to imagine, but the reality is that very few of us experience a linear, upward-trending income scale throughout the course of our working lives. For one reason or another, it’s likely that we experience at least one year of a drop in wage or salary (or several years of fluctuation) which requires us to be nimble and adaptive. Especially with today’s uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus, the closing & re-opening of the economy, and other societal influences, it’s important to be prepared and set yourself up for success no matter what ‘curveball’ life has to throw at you.
Many employees are working from home, others are essential and are working in person, and some are preparing to return to campus for research or other allowable ventures. Where does this leave our teams? It can be a challenge to maintain the team morale and connectedness with so many changes and challenges occurring. How can you keep your team connected?
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Across the university parents are trying to find solutions to childcare, many of them juggling work and parenting in one consistently running 24 hour loop. It can be exhausting. If you need help there are a couple of options available to you for in-home care providers. 
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“Turns out there was one - and only one - characteristic that distinguishes the happiest 10 percent from everybody else: the strength of their social relationships,”

Upcoming Events

Latest Podcast

Guest host Carly Kabel from the MSU College of Arts and Letters discusses the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium with Ian Reynolds, Executive Director, and Maranda Holtsclaw, Michigan Regional Director. After you listen, visit hercjobs.org

"Name It, Aim It, Claim It"

The WorkLife Office team has the privilege of Melissa Staub from the College of Arts and Letters coaching us on StrengthsFinder. Melissa joins us for the first "virtual" edition of the WorkLife Podcast.

"Feeling more like I was in control of the work I was doing"

Erica Venton, Marketing Manager for the Office of the Provost Communications Team, shares some of the new practices she has inserted into her worklife to help her improve her experience.

Latest Webinars

7/2/20 Thursday:  Anti-racism: The Heart and Mind of the Matter
Presented by: Tina Alonzo, DEI Administrator with Infrastructure Planning and Facilities 

A time of dissonance, disagreement between beliefs and one’s own actions, offer each of us an opportunity to take a step back and look at the larger, deeper picture to engage in transformation. Following the viewing of a TED Talk, I welcome you to increase your knowledge, understanding and awareness of racial literacy. Learn how each of us can take action to be allies and affect change in support of anti-racism in our workplace and personal lives.

7/1/20 Wednesday: How to decide on return to work: who vs. what - Part 2
Presented by: Barbara Roberts, Director of WorkLife Office

This follow-up session will apply strategy to real-life workplace scenarios. Join Dr. Barbara Roberts as she follows up on the June 24 webinar, available here. This Part 2 will apply the questions previously proposed to real case scenarios. Suggestions may be submitted in advance to blr@msu.edu.

6/30/20 Tuesday: Bias, Understanding, and Realization Among Team Members
Presented by: Shedra Rakestraw, MPPA and Ayodele Dare, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, College of Ag and Natural Resources

Quality conversations amongst team members are necessary when interacting with different faculty, staff, and students. Whether it is yourself cultural knowledge or understanding the perspective, background, and differences that those around you bring to work. There is never a time in life when you aren’t on a team. In this webinar, you will observe actions to be a successful organization by understanding the uniqueness that you bring and the diversity and culture of the organization and that those that you work with will bring as well.

6/26/20 Friday: Team Cohesiveness During Unprecedented Times
Presented by: Todd Bradley, Senior Learning and Development Specialist with MSU HR Organizational and Professional Development

Participants will explore contemporary methods to increase team cohesiveness and establish positive day to day interaction expectations that will enhance communication, team morale and foster a highly effective work culture.

6/25/20 Thursday: Through the Looking Glass: And What Anti-Racist’s Find There.
Presented by: Stratton Lee III, Office Of Academic And Student Affairs Canr & President of Black Faculty, Staff and Administrators Association

We all look intently in the mirror to observe ourselves, yet some of us, upon turning away, forget what we saw. As we persevere in our pursuit of justice and liberty, we move from being hearers who forget to doers who act. This conversation will help those who are questioning, starting, or already on the journey to understanding the impacts of racism on our personal lives, that of our loved ones and peers, and across our society. We will address the good/bad binary as we seek to understand that “racism is a systemic, societal, institutional, omnipresent, and epistemology embedded phenomenon that pervades every vestige of our reality,” as explained by Omowale Akintunde. Lastly, we will explore how to get started and continue addressing the ills of racism, past, and present.

“In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.” ― Angela Y. Davis

Latest Blog

By Barbara Roberts
Working in this medium for hours on end is not good for the health we are trying so hard to preserve! Let’s be intentional about how we pace ourselves, and we will last longer in the end. We are all learning to function in a new medium, which takes energy in terms of attention, concentration, learning in real time while doing, and learning without hands-on, in-person supports.

By Barbara Roberts
A supervisor during my occupational therapy internship in spinal cord rehab taught me, with only a little tongue-in-cheek, that “Position in life is everything...”; that is, the physical position you are in to do any task affects your safety, comfort, endurance and effectiveness for the task. Earlier in life, when learning to use a hammer effectively, instead of whacking the nail at some odd angle, my father taught me to “Get your [backside] behind you.” Good advice when positioning to exert force. Position matters.

By Jaimie Hutchison
Social distancing is the important strategy of physically separating ourselves from one another to avoid the spread of the Coronavirus. Social isolation, on the other hand, is often physically isolating ourselves (which we are doing) AND emotionally isolating ourselves, which we cannot afford to do.

By Barbara Roberts, Executive Director, WorkLife

In my long career working with how people participate in higher education and professional settings, I have had the joy of being in meetings where information is shared in many ways simultaneously. I have attended conferences, run by students, where there is simultaneous French/English translation, American Sign Language interpretation, Braille and large print copies of slides and hand-outs, all happening seamlessly over the heads of service animals quietly lying beside their companions. I have presented to the United Nations where the headphones and microphones are filled with different languages and cultural nuances, and where the pace of the meeting is nonetheless productive, respectful and creative.

By Barbara Roberts, WorkLife Office Executive Director

When we take our daily work into an online venue, whether Zoom, WebEx, Skype or discussion spaces, we need to remember it’s nonetheless a work setting. While we might still wear our fuzzy slippers no one can see, it’s important to remember that we need to maintain business decorum in our dress, manners, and comments. Here are some pointers to keep in mind to make your new work setting as professional, productive and personally respectable as possible. Let’s reflect on our ethics, and then look at some tips for effective participation.

Publications

Cover of the WorkLife Guide, For MSU Facutly and Staff
This WorkLife Guide will help connect you to the breadth of resources available to you on campus and in the community for your work and personal lives. Whether you are a faculty member, support staff, or administrator, your ability to navigate your work and personal lives compatibly will help you be a productive, satisfied, successful, and healthy member of the MSU community.
Things to Do at MSU cover
This activity guide assists all families in exploring their community and helps them become acquainted with this rich environment. Whether you are an MSU faculty, staff or student or a community member, you will find activity information for people of all ages on campus and in the Greater Lansing area.
Screenshot of the new email newsletter format of WorkLife Connections
The MSU WorkLife Office newsletter features articles, events and resources that help keep you in touch with information on campus and beyond.

Outstanding Supervisor Award

Web-Homepage-Graphic550.jpg The Outstanding Supervisor Award honors MSU supervisors who have consistently demonstrated work/life sensitivity and support of the professional/personal needs of the employees in their unit. Read more...