OPM has put out its annual call for agencies to report on their telework programs, a routine process that promises to yield anything but routine numbers regarding the program for 2020.
“Given the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and anticipated congressional interest in the expanded use of telework and other forms of work from home across the federal workforce, OPM has added a number of related questions that will assist us in determining if new policy guidance is necessary in the area of telework and long-term emergencies,” OPM said in a memo to agencies.
OPM similarly added additional telework-related questions to the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, which is now underway after having been delayed several months due to issues arising from the pandemic.
“Telework is an important flexibility that has proven its effectiveness in helping agencies to meet mission critical requirements while balancing the health and safety of the federal workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic health emergency,” OPM said.
As in the past, agency telework managing officers and telework coordinators who have been designated as the points of contact for the survey will be notified shortly via email and will be provided individual passwords to enter their data into a web-based form. Responses are due by December 18.
The most recent report, released in the spring, showed that before the pandemic, 42 percent of non-postal employees eligible, the percentage of telework-eligible employees who had worked remotely was 51 percent, and of those who teleworked, 45 percent did it only situationally. Those were in line with the results of prior years.