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Workforce Development Toolkit - Modern work environment

Modern work environment

Advances in technology, customers' needs and employee demographics, social media, mobile work and the economy are just a few of the factors that affect workplace needs. We are building a workplace not just for today's employees and customers but also for future generations. There are four – soon to be five – generations in the workplace, with research showing that workplace expectations fluctuate depending on generational needs. Leaders in all sectors, including government, continue to refine organizational culture and set new business and workplace expectations. At the same time, constrained resources and mandates for services will challenge the state to do more with the limited budget to meet demands.

To address these factors, Gov. Jay Inslee issued Executive Order 16-07: Building a Modern Work Environment (PDF 72KB). This order directs executive branch agencies to establish a workplace strategy council, enable a mobile workforce and create modern work environments while maintaining or improving business operations and customer service.

At WSDOT our Secretary's Executive Order E 1099.00 directs management to build a modern work environment and create an organizational culture that empowers employees with choice, enables excellent performance, supports all generations, and is mindful of our impact on the environment by taking actions outlined in this order. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will maintain policies that support mobility, including telework and flexible work hours, and will maintain the technology necessary to provide the ability to work in a variety of locations.

Telework & alternative work schedules

Telework is a formal work arrangement that allows eligible employees to perform work, during their approved work schedule, at a location different from their official duty station. Telework is an important tool for achieving a resilient results-oriented workforce, allowing WSDOT to be more adaptive and responsive to customers and optimizing our facility footprint.

WSDOT offers a variety of schedules to eligible employees. Eligible employees can choose to work a flexible schedule that can be a five-day-a-week schedule or a compressed work week schedule that will reduce a commute day. The most common compressed work schedules are the 4/10s and 9/8s. Having the flexibility to adjust start and stop times from the normal business hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. allows our employees to achieve work/life balance. Employees can also use flexible schedules to align start and stop times with commute reduction alternatives. Work schedules options can be found here.

Commute options & programs

Many WSDOT employees don't use a single occupancy vehicle to travel to and from work. Some ride a bus, train or bicycle; and some employees choose to walk or share the ride in a carpool or vanpool. They are saving money, helping to relieve traffic congestion and keeping our air and water clean. WSDOT offers several different programs to support commute trip reduction. Employees who meet eligibility and tracking requirements may receive a free or subsidized transit pass; vanpool fare subsidy; or an incentive for walking, biking, and carpooling. To learn more about your commute options look at the websites provided or contact your employee transportation coordinator.

Infant at Work

The Infant at Work (IAW) Program is for eligible employees who are new mothers, fathers, or legal guardians of an infant. Research proves that allowing a parent and infant to remain together in this early stage of life supports critical bonding, healthy infant brain development, parental wellbeing, and enables exclusive breastfeeding, which improves lifelong health. This program allows employees who return to work to bring their infant, or work from home with the infant, supporting a positive work/life balance while honoring their contributions to the department.

If you have any questions about these programs, talk to your HR consultant.

Modern workspace

To increase service delivery, productivity and employee engagement, Washington State must think strategically about the workplace and the policies it employs. By adopting modern workplace policies, strategies and tools that align how work is done within the workspace, we have the opportunity to recruit and retain talent, increase productivity, foster an engaging work environment, support health and wellness, ensure continuity of operations, manage rising real estate costs and reduce the state's environmental footprint.

If you have any questions about building a modern workspace, talk to your Facilities Office and/or HR Representative.