Work Life Balance & Sustainability

Balancing work and life is no easy task. No matter whether you are a student or professional, work part-time or full-time, are single or have a family, most of us juggle multiple responsibilities. University policies and tools promote flexible work arrangement, stress management, and support for employee wellbeing to achieve our individual goals.

Stress & Time Management

Low and medium stress levels boost performance. High stress levels causes mental and physical health problems.Stress management is important. Some stress can actually be motivating and help us overcome challenges, but it is important to recognize the difference between good stress and bad stress (see graph). When stress causes us to feel challenged but in control, we perform well and achieve our highest goals. On the other hand, when stress causes us to push self-care to the side, not only does our performance suffer, but our mental and physical health suffers, as well.

Being a full-time student is equivalent to having a full-time job. As a leading higher education institution, Cornell expects a lot from its students, but this does not mean that we want school to be the only priority in your life. Work life balance applies to you, too. We also understand that time management isn’t necessarily intuitive, so take advantage of The Learning Strategies Center (LSC). Loaded with tutoring information, study skills tips, and time management tips, the LSC is one of the best resources available to you for all your work life balance needs.

Cornell's Actions

Cornell aspires to support the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which is comprised of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to wipe out poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change over the next 15 years. Target 8 of Goal 8 calls for “safe and secure working environments for all workers,” noting that securing safe workplaces extends beyond the protection of workers’ physical safety to their mental and psychological wellbeing.

Cornell University’s budget model charges departments, units, and colleges for occupied space. Supervisors can save money on rent and utilities by incentivizing flexible work arrangements, which reduces carbon from commuting to and from the Ithaca campus, and lighting and utility bills.  Learn more about how space utilization is linked to flexible work goals in our Climate Action Plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035.

Steps you can take to explore work life balance resources:

  • Ensure a balance between working and studying, social time, and personal or family time.

  • Explore flexible work arrangements. This enables Cornell employees to vary their starting and departure times and work place. With large-scale implementation, remote work programs reduce commuting to and from campus, resulting in reductions of the University's carbon emissions and the amount of office space required on campus. Remote work has also been shown to positively impact employees' level of engagement by helping them to better balance their work and personal lives.

Work Life Balance Resources at Cornell University

Human Resources Flexible Work Arrangement

Cornell integrates the use of workplace flexibility to support the wellbeing of our employees and achieve our workplace goals.

Remote Work Conferencing Tools

Tech That Can Save You a Trip

How to use campus supported resources and other tools to minimize unnecessary travel, and help you make the most of your work life balance.