WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – As Operation Iraqi Freedom continues, human resource departments are challenged with the task of how to handle ongoing “war talk” in the workplace. From heated political discussions to employee depression, the war is adding new levels of stress at work. According to recent surveys, not only are anxiety levels running high but more employees are also logging online to find out the latest news updates. For example at Bartlesville, Oklahoma-based 66 Federal Credit Union, Internet use has jumped 20% since last month. According to Society for Human Resource Management Spokesperson Frank Scanlan, war is a distraction and HR professionals need to be sensitive to employees’ anxieties and need for information and should be prepared for productivity to fall. Employers are advised to be sensitive and give employees more latitude, especially those with spouses or family members called to duty- to come to work late if they need to, to talk about war around the office, to receive e-mails that reassure them of a family member’s or spouse’s safety.

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