Work-Life Services Home Page
Work–Life Services (WLS) are six negotiated benefits programs for Executive Branch employees resulting from a collaboration between NYS and the public employee unions. These programs are designed to increase employee productivity and morale by improving the quality of work and life for employees and include: Employee Assistance Program, NYS–Balance, Worksite Child Care Centers, Flex Spending Account, NYS–Ride, and Pre–Retirement Planning. To view a short video about WLS benefits click here. 12:11
To view or print the Work-Life Services Brochure click here.
EAP: Are You Living in an "Empty Nest"?
Parents spend a great deal of time and energy teaching their children to make decisions, plan for the future, and become independent. Then, one day their children decide they have learned enough to venture out on their own. After your last child leaves home, you may discover you are living in an "empty nest".
For some parents, this comes with a feeling of great satisfaction and a sigh of relief, signaling a well–deserved break from the laundry room and grocery shopping. The empty nest can also bring an opportunity to travel, cultivate new friendships, take up a hobby, and plan date nights.
For other parents, it signals the beginning of a quiet existence that can be unsettling. Separation from a child can bring about a feeling of loss, uselessness, isolation, and even depression.
The feelings associated with empty nest can become complicated if they coincide with other major life changes such as menopause or retirement. All major life changes require some adjustment. It takes time to establish and get comfortable with a new routine, but you can ease the transition to an empty nest by planning ahead and taking action. Here are some tips to help you cope with the transition:
Remain positive. Take pride in the fact that you prepared your child to live apart from you. Focus on things you always wanted to do, but maybe didn’t have the time, money, or energy to do. Pay attention to your health, and start doing some of form of exercise that you find enjoyable.
Avoid comparisons. Try not to compare this child’s plans to those of older siblings or your own experience. There is no template for how to leave home. Concentrate on what this child needs to be successful.
Maintain contact. It has never been easier to keep in touch with loved ones than it is these days. Commit to scheduling regular visits, phone calls, text messages, and video–chats, but resist the urge to make an unannounced visit to your child. Stay connected to the friends you made during your child’s activities.
Think carefree. Weekends can be less structured and more spontaneous. If you miss the hustle and bustle of your child’s sports routine or other activities, follow a minor league or local team. Attend a high school play or concert. Many parents find it liberating to attend these functions without the anxiety that accompanies watching your own child perform. Dinnertime can be more casual and less work.
Obtain help. Seek the advice and companionship of family and friends who are enjoying their own empty nests. Join some of their leisure activities. Talk with them about how you feel.
If your feelings of sadness continue, or for more information, please contact an EAP coordinator.
Retirement Planning Videos
A series of short videos — the Planning Your Successful Retirement Video Guide — highlighting key information from the popular DIRECTIONS: Pre-Retirement Planning Seminars is now available. Designed for executive branch employees, the 23 videos were created in partnership with the Office of the State Comptroller, the Department of Civil Service, the NYS Deferred Compensation Plan, and the Social Security Administration. Employees can view the videos along with other pre-retirement planning information on this Work-Life Services website and also on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/GOERWebServices. More
Retirement Planning Resources Workshops
The Retirement Planning Resources Workshop is a free, one-hour training, available to state agencies for their employees, regardless of years of state service. The training will not cover specific retirement information, and is not a substitute for the full-day DIRECTIONS seminars. Instead, the goal of this training program is to educate executive branch employees about the resources available so they can begin planning their retirement.
If you would like to schedule this one-hour training, you may contact Beth Brumaghim, Seminar Program Manager, at Beth.Brumaghim@goer.ny.gov or 518.473.4018.
The NYS Work-Life Services Employee Assistance Program recently launched a wellness initiative called WellNYS Everyday. The initiative is dedicated to educating, engaging, and empowering New York State employees and their families by encouraging participation in healthy behaviors, particularly the Monthly Challenges. In addition to the Monthly Challenges, the WellNYS Everyday website features a portal titled Eating for Your Health. Click here to find monthly food themes with recipes, and general tips for healthy eating.
Free NYS–Balance Resource Materials
Did you know a wide variety of free resource materials are available through the NYS–Balance program? To order materials, go to: http://www.nysbalance.ny.gov. After logging in, on the right side of the home page, in the Employee Resources section, click on the Educational Materials tab, complete the form and submit. The materials will be mailed directly to your home.
Welcome to the Family Packet
Work-Life Services introduces the "Welcome to the Family Packet". Parenting is an exciting and challenging experience. Today's parents often face unique circumstances balancing their work and family responsibilities. As a New York State Executive Branch employee parent, you are entitled to several negotiated benefits designed to assist you with balancing work and life. The "Welcome to the Family Packet" will outline these benefits programs as well as provide educational child care and parenting brochures. We invite you to request a "Welcome to the Family Packet" if you are expecting or recently added to your family through the birth or adoption of a child. Email your request along with your name and home address to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Parenthood, it's not a job. It's an adventure" – –author unknown