The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a July 20 memo to agencies that instructs them to consider telework and remote work, as well as the status of online collaboration tools when submitting their office workspace plans.
In the memo, OMB Director Shalanda Young said agencies are expected to submit their office workspace plans – called their “capital plans” – to OMB and the Federal Real Property Council by December 16, while keeping lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic top of mind. The plans will account for fiscal years (FY) 2024 to 2028.
When determining their future physical workspace requirements, agencies should consider workforce and workplace trends, including “hybrid work, inclusive of onsite work, telework, alternative work schedules, online collaboration, and remote work policies and practices,” the memo says.
Additionally, OMB instructed agencies to work with their chief information officer to assess the status of “online collaboration tools, cloud-based software, and cybersecurity to support a distributed workforce.” Agencies must consider the use of these tools during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as how these online tools will impact the agency’s future need for office space.
“Agencies should rely on evidence when making their office space and capital planning decisions, including by collecting and using data and information regarding the effects of personnel policies and procedures on mission delivery employee engagement, and workspace utilization,” Young said in the memo.
Young encouraged agencies to work with their evaluation officers, chief data officers, and performance improvement officers to build and support a “data-driven assessment and evaluation.”
The OMB director also reminded agencies that their capital plans must align with President Biden’s FY2024 budget request.