News today from the Congressional Management Foundation and Society for Human Resource Management reveals that the two organizations next week will launch a new joint research project to better understand the working environment on Capitol Hill — specifically to examine how randomly selected members of Congress juggle their work and home lives and assess congressional staffers’ satisfaction with their workplace.

Anyone else see the irony in announcing this study this week? Or, is it just me?

The research will be conducted as two separate surveys, with results released as two reports in 2012. The first report will describe what members of Congress value most about their work and provide guidance on how to manage work-life issues so they feel more effective and efficient. The second report will describe staffers’ work and what they value most, offering insight to senior managers for attracting and retaining high-quality staffers.

“Congress is a unique work environment with unique challenges,” says Bradford Fitch, CMF president and CEO.

You can say that again.

Fitch continues: “We hope to provide members and staff with tools and guidance to improve the work environment and help them manage the incredible demands on their time. We also hope to open a window to the public on these extraordinary public servants and the sacrifices they make in their personal lives.”

By being in recess a week or more during of the average month? Not sure I’m buying what he’s selling on the sacrifices lawmakers make. Still, the research does sound interesting, if only to hear what congressional staffers think of their work-life balance. Living in the D.C. area, I know several Hill staffers and their horror stories are legendary. It’ll be interesting to see if they give their true assessment of their work environment for this research.

What do you think? What valuable tools do you think will emerge from this research to aid you in improving work-life balance at your company? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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