Working out: Flex work, one month in


Utica University Campus in the Evening / Photo: Alexis Chrysler

Kayden Lamphere, Contributing Writer

The Flex Work Program, an initiative that brings full-time staff members’ work hours from 37.5 to 32, has officially wrapped up its first month trial period of this year. During the test trial, staff members not only had their hours shortened but also had increased opportunities to take time off. 

Within the first month, the program has already impacted staff and students in several ways, shaking up what it looks like to be an employee at Utica University. 

“I think it’s been really positive for supporting a good work-life balance,” Greg Caloia, a Success Coach at Utica University said. “For myself and most of my colleagues as well.” 

According to Caloia, the program has allowed him to be home more with his young children and wife, a task that was much more difficult before the implementation of Flex Work. 

Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences Jason Denman noted the positive effect it has had on his office as a whole. 

“It’s working terrifically for arts and science staff,” Denman said. “I think they appreciate it very much. Sharon Wise, the Dean of Natural Sciences and Math, and I have not had any trouble coordinating it, so we are super supportive.” 

According to Denman, while he personally has not been able to use the program to its fullest yet, due to the nature of days off accruing if a staff member does not use them, he expects he will be able to in the near future. 

Amy Lindner, the Vice President for Advancement at Utica University, said she noticed a major increase in morale in staff members around her. 

“People, after three years of feeling like we’re in a pressure cooker after the pandemic, have finally been given a little bit of room to breathe,” Lindner said. “And I think it has allowed staff to feel like they can better manage their personal and professional responsibilities. 

According to Lindner, though, there have been some challenges in implementing the system with concerns over availability. 

“A major challenge has been that we’re expected to be available and on call despite the changes to our schedule,” Lindner said. “Carving out personal time that is actually personal has been hard to juggle.” 

Lindner also noted the difficulties involved with faculty arrival at different times of the day, making scheduling meetings harder than before. However, she believes these to be part of the “growing pains” involved in implementing a new system and again commented on how positive the reaction has been overall. 

Student life has also been changed by the new program, changing the response time of certain faculty members along with their general receptiveness. 

“I didn’t even know there was a new program put in place,” animal behavior major Alexis Chrysler, said. “But the communication has definitely gotten better from previous years.” 

According to Chrysler, there has been a drastic increase in the response times of some staff members through email. She expressed thankfulness for the increase, as it allows her to not spend time worrying about when or even if a member will be able to get to her reply in a timely fashion. 

For more information about the Flex Work initiative, contact Lisa Green ([email protected]) or stop by the Office of Human Resources at 124 White Hall, open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.