Free course on flexible working now available to America’s civil servants

By on 08/04/2016 | Updated on 27/01/2022
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is the independent agency of the United States government that manages the civil service of the federal government

America’s federal government has launched a free online course for civil servants to learn about flexible working opportunities.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) –  independent agency of the United States government that manages the civil service of the federal government – has launched the new 90-minute online course called ‘Introduction to Leave, Work-Life, and Workplace Flexibilities’ available through OPM’s HR University.

Its goal is to provide federal employees and managers with a comprehensive overview of flexible workplace benefits and how to access them.

It was introduced during National Women’s History Month in March, which was themed around honouring women in public service and government.

Writing in her blog, OPM acting director Beth Cobert said that president Obama has “directed OPM to educate agencies on the various workplace flexibilities and work-life resources available.”

The course, she said, “helps to promote a culture in which employees and managers are able to more effectively use the various workplace flexibilities and work-life programmes available.”

Allowing employees to use these flexibilities will “improve agency productivity, employee engagement and provides better service for our customers,” she added.

Cobert, who spent 29 years as a consultant and partner in the private sector before joining the federal government, said workplace flexibility has been an important factor in her career.

“My husband and I had demanding jobs when our children were born. I was a consultant at a private global management company, a job which involved long hours and considerable travel.

“Back then, working part time and other flexibilities to help balance work and family life were not in place in many workplaces, including mine.

“But I asked to shift to a part-time schedule, and the leadership in my office was willing to give it a try. It turned out to be good for me, for my firm, and our clients – and working part-time is now an option for others.”

For more information on the course, visit:

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About Winnie Agbonlahor

Winnie is news editor of Global Government Forum. She previously reported for Civil Service World - the trade magazine for senior UK government officials. Originally from Germany, Winnie first came to the UK in 2006 to study a BA in Journalism & Russian at the University of Sheffield. She is bilingual in English and German, and, after spending an academic year abroad in Russia and reporting for the Moscow Times, Winnie also speaks Russian fluently.

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