- The Washington Times
Thursday, January 12, 2023

NEWS AND OPINION:

Some legislation on the radar: House Republicans have introduced a bill that could attract friends and foes — along with those who relish working in an office, and those who prefer the remote or telecommuting work experience.

“The Stopping Home Office Work’s Unproductive Problems — or the SHOW UP Act of 2023” — was introduced this week by Rep. James Comer, Kentucky Republican. Co-sponsors include Republican Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Michael Cloud of Texas and Byron Donalds of Florida.


The bill itself states that the legislation “would require executive agencies to submit to Congress a study of the impacts of expanded telework and remote work by agency employees during the COVID-19 pandemic and a plan for the agency’s future use of telework and remote work, and for other purposes.”

Mr. Comer has a definite outcome in mind.

“I intend to advance common sense legislation to guarantee federal agencies are meeting their missions. I am proud to introduce the SHOW UP Act, which will ensure the federal workforce returns to the office,” the Kentucky lawmaker said in a written statement.

“Not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act, each agency shall reinstate and apply the telework policies, practices, and levels of the agency as in effect on December 31, 2019,” the legislation itself advises.

The bill may not be popular with fans of telework, who maintain that the practice lessens the expense and frustrations of commuting to work and offers more flexibility, productivity and innovation, among other things.

A McKinsey/Ipsos Opportunity Survey of 25,062 U.S. adults conducted March 15-April 18, 2022 also found that 87% of the respondents would opt to work remotely if given the chance, while 58% said they had already done so.

‘CONGRESS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS’

It’s a must-read for those who follow the big doings of Congress as if it were a major league sports match. And it is, of course, complete with partisan teams and busy referees.

If you follow all the big doings on Capitol Hill, or need a gift for the partisan who has everything, consider “Congress at Your Fingertips.” This annual insider’s guide to the lawmakers includes key staffers, committee rosters, state statistics, maps and contact numbers.

It spans 192 pages and is offered in two different versions priced at $20 and $23 — available from Publishing.cqrollcall.com.

POLITICS FOR BETTER OR WORSE

Uh-oh. This could happen to Republicans, Democrats, independents and anybody who perks up whenever Capitol Hill or the White House is mentioned.

“The stress of following daily political news can negatively affect people’s mental health and well-being, but disengaging has ramifications, too,” says new research published Thursday by the American Psychological Association.

“There are strategies that can help people manage those negative emotions — such as distracting oneself from “political news — but those same strategies also reduce people’s drive to act on political causes they care about,” the research advised.

Oh, but it’s complicated.

“When it comes to politics, there can be a trade-off between feeling good and doing good,” said Brett Q. Ford, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, in a written statement shared with Inside the Beltway.

“Protecting oneself from the stress of politics might help promote well-being but it also comes at a cost to staying engaged and active in democracy,” she said.

The research was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

HAIL TO THE CHIEFS

Professional titles are getting imaginative indeed. The simple “CEO” does not cut it these days, according to Business Insider.

“Silly C-suite titles are all the rage as companies try to attract new talent,” wrote analyst Drew Limsky, who cited examples that have surfaced recently. Yes, these are real.

They include chief amazement officer, chief heart officer, chief purpose officer, chief empathy officer, chief remote officer, chief enthusiasm officer, chief happiness officer and chief people officer.

Imagine how this trend would play out, say, among government executives or among White House employees. Perhaps we shall encounter a chief filibuster officer soon.

“While they might be popular, feelings-centric job titles do little more than try to paper over a fundamental part of work: its transactional nature. Your company might operate more compassionately because it hired a chief heart officer, but at the end of the day it’s still a business, and that person can still fire you,” Mr. Limsky advised.

Seniorexecutive.com, meanwhile, is also tracking this trend.

“Chief customer officer. Chief brand engagement officer. Chief people officer. Chief innovation officer. Chief sustainability officer. These titles and others have been welcomed into C-suites, particularly in the Fortune 500. Smaller companies and startups are more recently embracing the trend — transforming their leadership teams with new roles that address today and tomorrow’s priorities,” wrote Kimberly Valentine, a reporter for the online news organization.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

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POLL DU JOUR

• 50% of U.S. adults have resolved to eat healthier in 2023; 49% resolve to exercise more.

• 43% resolve to drink more water, 42% to lose weight, 36% to “express more gratitude.”

• 33% will get more sleep, 32% to live more “in the present.”

• 17% will reduce their carbon footprint, 16% will drink less alcohol, 11% will “start or continue therapy.”

• 29% will do “none of these.”

SOURCE: An Ipsos poll of 1,014 U.S. adults conducted Jan. 6-8.

• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.


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