The Partnership for Public Service has said that in setting long-range workplace policies, agencies should take care not to give up the recruiting, retention and other benefits they have gained operating in a maximum telework status.
The pandemic “provided agency leaders with important lessons about engaging their employees, even as most of them began working remotely. Going forward, these lessons can help agencies recruit and retain the next generation of public servants to tackle 21st-century challenges,” says a blog posting.
“A key will be solidifying the innovations put in place during the pandemic. When federal agencies provided work-from-home technology and authorized flexible work schedules, they adapted to employee concerns and demonstrated an ability to improve employee engagement,” it said.
“Private sector organizations are considering a range of options to bring back their employees, from a full return to in-person work to remaining virtual indefinitely. Federal agencies are similarly equipped to offer what new professionals seek: hybrid environments, flexible work schedules and improved technologies that strengthen the employee experience.”
It said that federal leaders should (in its words):
• Provide clear guidance on how employees can work virtually based on their job type and enable teams to develop specific norms for a hybrid environment.
• Create an engaging environment for both in-person and remote employees, reopen in an inclusive and equitable way, and train leaders on how to best manage remote teams and employees.
• Consider how they will maintain their organizations’ cultural DNA in a hybrid environment while recognizing that this new setup offers fresh opportunities to remove previously held biases at work and evolve agency work culture.