Two-thirds of employees who are teleworking said their productivity has improved while a quarter said it has not changed and only 5 percent said it has decreased, in a survey of employees represented by the NTEU union.
Of the nearly 14,000 employees who responded, 48.8 percent said their productivity increased “a lot” and 16.8 percent said it increased “a little.” And all but 3.2 percent agreed that “after the pandemic, I would like the option of being able to continue to telework additional days per week” beyond their previous rate of telework.
They cited benefits including savings of time and money from not commuting, work-life balance, reduction in stress levels, and more.
“Increasing telework opportunities for federal employees was an NTEU priority even before the pandemic struck and the union will use the success of maximum telework to push for legislation to protect and expand telework at federal agencies, and to broaden negotiated agreements for NTEU-represented employees,” the union said.
A recent survey of some 49,000 DoD civilian employees (plus some 7,000 military personnel) conducted by that department’s inspector general’s office found that 47 percent said that their productivity had increased and another 41 percent said it was the same.
Productivity is among the consideration arising as the government maps out long-run telework policies following the spike due to the pandemic. The Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey conducted last fall—and whose results were released this week—did not specifically ask about the impact of telework on productivity, although it did show some decreases in agency performance overall due to the pandemic.