OPM encourages telework during heat wave
- By Sherkiya Wedgeworth
- Jul 19, 2019
The Office of Personnel Management released a new memo asking agency leaders to be mindful of the potential dangers of high temperatures being experienced in recent days by employees across the Midwest and the East coast.
Temperatures have reached dangerous levels across much of certain parts of the country, including the D.C.-Metro area, which is one the largest areas in the country that is home to federal civilian employees.
OPM, in a July 16 memo, said agencies need to be proactive in protecting the health and well‑being their employees during these hot summer months.
“We should take all available steps to help protect our employees during potentially dangerous heat waves, the memo states, continuing, “Federal agencies are encouraged to remind their employees of the need to remain adequately hydrated during severe heat. Providing immediate and ready access to potable drinking water will help to protect the health and well-being of federal employees during severe heat and humidity.”
The memo said supervisors should consider workplace flexibilities, including telework.
“With supervisory approval and to prevent work disruptions, a telework-ready employee may telework from home on a day when air quality conditions are poor. Additionally, if permitted by agency policy, an employee working a flexible work schedule may choose to adjust arrival and departure times to avoid commuting during the hottest periods of the day.”
OPM also encouraged feds to use annual leave, earned compensatory time off, or credit hours on a day when severe heat and humidity reaches dangerous levels.