An enduring shift in the work habits of federal employees has been taking place. According to the recent data published by the Office of Personnel Management, nearly 70% of federal employees continue to telework at least occasionally.
As reported by The Federal Times, the survey, which included responses from over 625,000 federal employees, revealed that while about one-third do not telework due to various reasons, a significant majority have embraced teleworking — with many doing so three to four days a week.
The data is also consistent with last year’s findings and suggests that there is an inclination towards flexible work arrangements despite increasing expectations and pressure for more in-person work presence among federal employees.
This persistence of teleworking practices suggests that policies among federal employers will continue to evolve in the coming months and years. The Federal Times article points out that while there is pressure from the White House and Congress to reassess maximum telework policies implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is also recognition of the need to balance this with the benefits that telework offers for recruitment and retention.
The distinction between remote workers and teleworkers is also becoming increasingly important for the federal government, as agencies are directed to differentiate between those who never report to an office and those who do so regularly. This distinction is reportedly part of a broader three-year data strategy to better understand the post-pandemic workforce distribution.
Telework among federal employees is a trend that is likely to continue shaping the future of work. As government organizations grapple with the balance between in-office requirements and the benefits of telework, the changes in work policies that occur could be influential for addressing the needs and expectations of a diverse and dispersed workforce nationwide.