myHR: News from Penn's Division of Human Resources

myHR: July 22, 2020

Valuing Time Off Now

Mother and father playing with children in kiddie pool.Even if your plans for a summer trip were upended this year, taking time off now may be more valuable than ever. What does it mean to be “out of office” when you’re working from home and travel options are limited? To help rethink your vacation during this time, here are some recommendations from ThirdPath Institute President and Wharton Work/Life Roundtable co-founder, Jessica DeGroot.

Vacations can be a time away from work that allow you to recharge and return to both your work and life responsibilities more refreshed. They can be taken with your family, extended family, friends, by yourself, or they can be time to reconnect as a couple. But when your office is in your home, and children have had school, child care routines and summer camps turned upside down, it can be difficult to conceive what "time off" means. Here are a few steps to help plan some re-charge time - even during this pandemic.

1. Clarify what’s most important to you about taking a vacation. What is your vacation vision? Check the boxes that align with your goals, or add your own ideas.

o   Relax and recharge

o   Disconnect from work

o   Connect as a family

o   Take a break from regular caregiving

o   Connect as a couple

o   Get a change of scenery

o   Share time with extended family/friends

o   Pursue activities you enjoy

o   Experience something new

o   Learn more about a new place

2. Determine how much time you have and how you want to use it. Do you want to take a block of days off even if it’s not to your dream destination? Would a staycation or a series of 3- or 4-day weekend getaways feel best?

3. Think out-of-the-box! Knowing what you'd like to experience, what you can realistically achieve, and how long you have to do so, might help you brainstorm a new type of vacation. What obstacles are getting in your way? For example, an uncertain economy may make it feel hard to plan time away from work, but hopefully not impossible.

4. Consider what requirements you have for feeling safe and staying healthy. What level of social distancing feels right? How can you make hotel stays or rest stops on road trips feel more comfortable?

5. Make the most of your re-charge time - be intentional and specific about disconnecting from work. What steps can you take to completely disconnect? If you need to check in, can you limit it to a specific time? Can you define what an emergency is, and how someone should get in touch with you?

This article was first published at

Call for Real-life Remote Work Tips

Father working remotely from home while son plays around in workspace.When stay-at-home orders were first issued in our region, many news outlets published work-from-home tips and remote work secrets. Now that you’ve had at least a few months to separate the truly practical advice from the wishful thinking, myHR would love to hear from you.

Share your most surprising, most useful remote work tactics with fellow readers. Whether you’ve been working remotely for years or you just started this spring, your tips can make work and life a bit smoother for staff members like you.

Email your tips on the topics listed below or – better yet— a topic you’ve discovered through your own experience.

·       Time management

·       Creating a comfortable, productive space

·       Keeping in touch with coworkers

·       Staying calm and focused

·       Sharing space and maintaining boundaries with family and housemates (even pets)

·       Practicing care, patience, and empathy for yourself and others

Please include information about the original source of your tip, if applicable. You may even include a photo or video link.

Send your tips to by August 5. Selected tips will be published in myHR this August.

You can review Penn’s remote work guidance at

Tools for Discovering New Career Paths

Woman standing on top of rock looking out of binoculars.Every Penn professional has a personal vision of career success. Sometimes, the biggest challenge is bringing that vision in to focus. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. If you’ve been thinking about the next steps in your career, expanding and strengthening your professional network, and how to effectively manage and achieve your career goals, attend the virtual Tools for Career Assessment and Development workshop on July 28 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

This workshop is structured to give you career building tools whether your goal is to advance within your current field or change careers altogether. Talent Development facilitator Jamie Apgar will cover the following topics and discuss how to bring these elements together in a plan to keep you on track while working towards your career goals.

Understanding types of career movement: A career lattice will be used to demonstrate the different ways staff can move around at Penn. Let go of the myth that all successful careers progress in straight lines. Sometimes the most rewarding paths have many branches.

Conducting a career analysis: Evaluate where you are currently in your career. Identify your values, and the things that you like and don’t like about your current job. Consider what you want to see and would like to achieve in your next position.

Performing a career gap analysis: Do you have potential knowledge or skills gaps that need attention? Learn how to identify those gaps and develop a plan to overcome them.

Employing SWOT Analysis: Identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to help determine the direction of your next career path.

Building solid networks: Assess the current state of your professional network and identify strengths and opportunities for enhancing that network. These days, that not only involves giving as well as taking. It means connecting online or establishing contacts in other creative ways.

Register now for the Tools for Career Assessment and Development workshop and put your career action plan to work.

For more information about Penn’s Talent Development programs, visit

Healthy Meals: Honey Soy Grilled Salmon with Edamame

Honey soy grilled salmon with edamame and lime.

Fresh salmon fillets are stuffed with flavorful herbs then grilled and glazed with a homemade honey soy sauce. Packed with heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids and delicious flavor, pair with cooked edamame for a colorfully refreshing finish.

Find the recipe here.

Click here to send us your healthy recipes and tips.

Did You Know: Timed Tickets for Penn Cultural Sites

Looking for a quick summer getaway? Morris Arboretum has reopened for timed and ticketed visits. The Penn Museum will reopen to the public on July 28 and members-only week runs July 21–26. Admission to both destinations is free for PennCard holders. They have prepared for safe reopening by updating their services and requiring face coverings. Visit and for details.



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