Federal Employees News Digest

Federal telework to be made permanent

Last March, to protect feds from COVID, the Office of Personnel Management issued guidance directing agencies to ensure that “as many employees as possible” could telework. And in the year-plus since, the vast majority of feds have indeed worked remotely.

Vaccination and fast-falling numbers of coronavirus cases in recent weeks are bringing pressure from management and some in political Washington to order employees back to brick-and-mortar workplaces.

The back-to-the-office push, as soon as COVID’s ravages abated, was anticipated. But in a surprise move, the administration is instead signaling it wants widespread telework to remain in force as the “new normal,” according to a new report in the Washington Post.

Why? According to the report, it’s a combination of statistics showing feds—prior to the pandemic—had fallen far behind the times compared with private industry in telework, as well as the practice’s popularity among a workforce that suffered excessive criticism under the previous administration and could use a morale boost.

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