Volunteerism and the Workplace
Summary: Finding time to set aside for volunteer work is challenging for many employees. Reconciling the high demands of the workplace (and the home) with volunteer activities can present quite a juggling act.
Many employers see their businesses as a 24/7 commitment-and Blackberries, PDAs, cell phones, and home computers make it more and more impossible to "leave" the office.
Here are a few issues and concerns you may want consider:
- Look for online volunteer projects you can do via a home or work computer; such as letter writing, teletutoring, grant research
- Reduce overtime
- Ask your HR department or manager about corporate-sponsored volunteer activities
- Consider designing a workplace volunteer program that's perfect for your company
Here are a few suggestions employees can explore with their employers:
- Discuss the potential opportunities and benefits that community involvement can bring to the company and its employees
- Offer release time for volunteer work
- Consider flexible work arrangements
- Find ways to coordinate employees' volunteer work by partnering with a nonprofit
- Recognize employees for their volunteer accomplishments and contributions
- Permit employees to occasionally communicate with their group by phone or e-mail while at the office
Something to Think About...
Volunteers gain a sense of pride and develop respect for others. Volunteerism creates an atmosphere of cooperation, productivity, dependability, motivation, and communication. Workplace volunteerism is an excellent team-building tool.