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Report: USDA gives more time for new telework policy

The U.S. Department Agriculture this week notified its employees that it is extending the timeframe by an extra 30 days for some employees to adapt to new telework changes.

The U.S. Department Agriculture this week notified its employees that it is extending the timeframe by an extra 30 days for some employees to adapt to new telework changes, according to a recent news report.

The report notes an internal memo to employees that pushes back the implementation date of a new policy that reduces the number of days that employees can work remotely in order to give them additional time to update their transit benefits and submit new telework agreements.

The directive requiring employees to be in the office four days per week is still in effect, but those with "extenuating circumstances" may discuss the situation with their supervisors who have authority to approve additional telework days, according to the report.

Reader comments

Thu, Feb 8, 2018

While I certainly agree with the Secretary's new policy in general, it doesn't appear to take into account how it affects all entities in USDA equally--as their organization varies greatly. Speaking only for NRCS, which recently created many "virtual" positions—this new policy is creating some issues. While the actual policy absolutely gives 'supervisors' the ability to allow telework as needed, many supervisors appear to be interpreting the new policy as "little to no telework" henceforth. I absolutely agree that while most positions that have contact with the public do not readily lend themselves to telework, other "behind the scenes" positions such as accounting, IT, or financial management work very well as telework positions. If managed correctly, the benefits for telework FAR outweigh any downsides for both the agency and the employee. Especially in this current influenza season…

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