Although OPM has not yet released results from the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey conducted last fall, several major departments have issued their own data showing employees less satisfied than in 2020 by several measures.
Those numbers in general are similar to those of 2019, suggesting that increases in 2020 may have been a temporary spike.
For example, at DoD 60.8 percent employees were positive regarding their satisfaction with their organization, compared with 66.7 percent in 2020 and 61.9 in 2019. Similarly, the percentage positive regarding their job satisfaction was 66.6 compared with 72.2 in 2020 and 69.3 in 2019.
Results were similar at several others:
· At DHS, 52.9 percent were positive regarding satisfaction with the organization and 60.2 percent with their job, compared with 57.2 and 65.3 in 2020 and 51.2 and 60.4 in 2019.
· At Interior, 61.7 percent were positive regarding satisfaction with the organization and 69.4 percent with their job, compared with 62.7 and 70.8 in 2020 and 59 and 68.8 in 2019.
· At HHS, 72.3 percent were positive regarding satisfaction with the organization and 74.5 percent with their job, compared with 72.6 and 76.6 in 2020 and 70.3 and 74.3 in 2019.
Agriculture did not release that level of detail but it did show its “global satisfaction index”—which pulls together responses to those questions and several others related to satisfaction—falling in 2021 to 59 percent positive after rising to 64 in 2020 from 60 in 2019.
The postings did not analyze the reasons, but a widely held view was that the 2020 results benefitted from more employees being allowed to telework, and for more days a week, due to the pandemic. In particular, the 2020 survey had showed that the percentage of employees who were not approved for telework even though their job would allow for it—a common complaint among federal employees for many years—fell from the 19 percent of 2019 to 2 percent at the peak telework in 2020.
In some cases those numbers had decreased by the time the survey was again taken last fall, while for other employees teleworking had become part of a new normal by then.