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Work-Life Programs and Services

Credit: NIST

We prioritize work-life balance and have many programs to help you balance work with the rest of your life. 


NIST is a telework-friendly organization. Consult with your prospective supervisor to determine if your position is suitable for telework, eligibility requirements, and available telework schedules. 

Work Schedules

Unless on an alternative work schedule, the standard schedule at NIST is 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Gaithersburg, MD, and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Boulder, CO. (Gaithersburg’s schedule includes a 30-minute non-paid lunch period. Boulder’s schedule includes a one-hour non-paid lunch period.) 

Should you need more flexibility in your schedule, most NIST roles offer a variety of work schedule options, including flexible arrival and departure times. 

As part of our commitment to work-life balance, we offer several alternative work schedules, subject to supervisory approval. 

View a full list of possible work schedules at NIST.

Child Care

Both the Gaithersburg and Boulder locations offer on-site child care. The on-site child care centers may have waitlists for spots at any given time.

Childcare Subsidy Program (CCSP)

The NIST Childcare Subsidy Program (CCSP) is a subsidy reimbursement program to assist lower-income NIST employees with eligible childcare expenses using appropriated funds.  The CCSP is a tuition assistance program to provide financial support to lower-income families for qualifying childcare costs. This service plays a key role in the recruitment, retention, and wellbeing of the NIST workforce.

Back-Up Care Program

The NIST Back-Up Care Program is a benefit to help NIST Federal Employees better manage many work, family, and personal responsibilities. The NIST Back-Up Care Program provides access to back-up care for your children, adult, and older family members during a lapse or breakdown in everyday care arrangements. 

The Parents Network

The Parents Network, a NIST employee group, connects parents to one another and promotes healthy work-life balance strategies throughout the various stages of parenthood, from becoming a new parent to caring for toddlers, teens and college students (as well as caring for aging parents). 

The Parents Network: 

•    Serves as a voice for parents and caregivers within NIST 
•    Collaborates with HR to keep employees updated on policies/programs relevant to parents or caregivers
•    Provides a peer-to-peer platform for parents to share relevant knowledge (about work/life coaching, adoption, financial planning, legal counseling, babysitting and more.) 

Please contact laura.espinalthielen [at] (Laura Espinal) for more information.

Transportation Services

The federal government offers a monthly subsidy to full-time employees who commute to work via vanpools or public transportation at least 3 days per week.  
NIST employees in Gaithersburg can use a free shuttle service that runs between the Shady Grove Metro Station and NIST during normal work hours. There is also free Maryland Rail Commuter (MARC) shuttle service in the mornings and afternoons. The shuttle operates between the Metropolitan Grove (AM)/Gaithersburg (PM) MARC Stations and NIST.

The Department of Commerce also reimburses government employees who bicycle to and from work, up to $20 per month for bicycle commuting expenses (not to exceed $240 per calendar year). 

Commuting expenses under this program may include the purchase of:

•    a bicycle or lock, 
•    parking/storage, 
•    parts, 
•    rentals, and 
•    repairs and general maintenance.

You cannot use this benefit with another commuter benefit, such as mass transit, vanpool, or parking, during the same month. You may cancel one benefit and initiate another one on a monthly basis. Get more information about the DoC’s bicycle commuter benefit policy, including answers to frequently asked questions and the Bicycle Commuter Subsidy application and reimbursement form.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The NIST Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a free counseling, consultation, and referral service available to all NIST employees and their immediate family members in Gaithersburg, Maryland; Boulder, Colorado; Charleston, South Carolina; and remote work locations. 

EAP counseling services are confidential, and employee rights to privacy are stringently protected. The EAP can assist employees by exploring solutions for work or personal problems that may adversely affect work performance including:

•    stress management
•    change management
•    concern over job uncertainty
•    work-related distress
•    emotional distress
•    alcohol/drug related problems
•    child or spousal abuse
•    marital/relationship problems
•    legal/financial concerns
•    grief and loss, 
•    worries over health problems, and
•    coping with caregiving responsibilities. 

Created June 24, 2009, Updated June 4, 2024