Building Trust & Effectiveness in Congress
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New Office Policy: Spring Day Holiday

At CMF we have recently conducted research on how Members of Congress and congressional staff align their work and life on Capitol Hill. But, CMF not only studies and applauds good examples of aligning work and life on Capitol Hill, we live it.

As management geeks we know that “switching off” can enhance office morale and work product, and in the dreary D.C. wintery months we began eagerly looking forward to the days when you say, "'s SO nice out, I wish I was [insert fun outdoor activity here]." With that mindset, CMF’s President and CEO Bradford Fitch thought up an innovative and fun holiday to rejuvenate a hard-working staff, “First Day it FEELS Like Spring Holiday.” Seriously. It was amazing!

Like many groups that work closely with Capitol Hill, CMF hit the ground running in January, eager to work with the new and veteran members of the 113th Congress. By the time March rolled around, we were all starting to feel a little burned out and in need of a respite, so we set about developing the “rules and regulations” that would guide our new holiday.

So on April 9, with full staff input, it was time to implement said policy and we closed CMF’s doors for one day. One glorious day.

The best part was—it worked. With limited communications, each member of the staff was able to enjoy family, friends, and beautiful sunshine. Emails and texts were limited to an “emergency only” level.

Once we returned to the office, with clear minds and slightly higher Vitamin D levels, we were once again ready and happy to work.

For many, closing up shop for a whole day might sound like too much. But assessing your office’s work-life flexibility might unearth other options to take some of the pressure off of your busy schedules and allow staff a moment away to rejuvenate and return ready to go. Even a half-day with no tech (email, twitter, Facebook, texts, etc.) distractions can make a difference.


 Promulgated March 19, 2013

Whereas, human beings, as a species, perform better after exposure to sunlight, rather than in darkness.

Whereas, human beings, as a species, as annual cyclical animals, respond accordingly and positively to the changes of the seasons.

Whereas, Spring-like weather comes annually, but not on an accorded calendar that can be specifically affixed to a date.

Whereas, there occurs accordingly, and without great notice, a day which FEELS as though it is the first Day of Spring.

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Congressional Management Foundation will annually designate a holiday for all employees heretofore known as THE FIRST DAY THAT FEELS LIKE SPRING.

BE IT RESOLVED, that such day will be designated only by unanimous consent of all full-time employees.

BE IT RESOLVED, that such day can only be designated by Noon on the previous day.

BE IT RESOLVED, that such day cannot be designated UNLESS, by Noon on the previous day the “weather forecast” indicates a day of “sunny” with more than 65 degrees Fahrenheit as the high temperature.

BE IT RESOLVED, that management is highly discouraged from engaging in any electronic communication with staff during aforementioned THE FIRST DAY THAT FEELS LIKE SPRING.


“Weather Forecast” is defined as a forecast by the National Weather Service.

“Sunny” is defined by a forecast of less than 20% chance of precipitation.



Inside of Capitol Dome

CMF is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to helping Congress and its Members meet the evolving needs and expectations of an engaged and informed 21st century citizenry.

Our work focuses on improving congressional operations and enhancing citizen engagement through research, publications, training, and management services.

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