telework

The House Oversight and Reform Committee on June 15 approved legislation that would modernize Federal telework programs and promote additional data collection about the benefits of telework.  The bill now heads to the full House for consideration.

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Reps. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., and John Sarbanes, D-Md. – both of whom represent districts with large Federal employee populations – have reintroduced legislation that the members of Congress said will “strengthen and expand the federal government’s telework programs by capitalizing on lessons learned” during the coronavirus pandemic when many Federal agencies had most employees working from remote locations.

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According to the results of The Office of Personnel Management’s 2021 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, federal workers’ engagement and satisfaction with their jobs has decreased from 2020. In an accompanied report, OPM predicted that some of the declines in engagement and satisfaction might be due to the fact that agencies were preparing – or had already begun – efforts to move Federal workers back to traditional work sites.

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HUD Urban Development

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will be welcoming back employees to their traditional offices by lifting its maximum telework policy on April 25.  The degree to which telework will still represent a hybrid-workplace option for agency employees is still being determined.

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EPA Environmental Protection Agency

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached an agreement with the union representing agency employees for policies governing the return of employees to traditional offices in what amounts to a larger hybrid work-location approach.

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telework

As the COVID-19 pandemic wanes, the Department of Defense (DoD) Deputy Secretary Kathleen Hicks issued guidance on the reentry of DoD employees to their normal workplaces, stating that telework is here to stay.

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OPM Office of Personnel Management

According to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) needs to generate more reliable data on Federal telework.

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telework

Edging into what everyone hopes will be a post-pandemic environment, Federal agencies have learned a lot about remote work. But as employees continue to work from remote environments, agency tech leaders will need to continue to rethink policies, IT modernization, security, and training practices to ensure an integrated workplace environment, several Federal CIOs chief said during ATARC’s CIO Virtual Summit Jan. 25.

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Digital transformation in the Federal government is shifting the focal point of security to the user and device – not the data center. As Federal IT leaders look to keep pace with new modernization and cybersecurity requirements, they need platforms and capabilities that support fresh approaches to security and data.

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Pentagon Military Defense DoD

Effective 5 a.m. EST on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, the Pentagon Reservation will be moving to Health Protection Condition (HPCON) Charlie, with workspace capacity required to be at less than 25 percent and supervisors continuing to provide maximum telework opportunities.

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Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kiran Ahuja emphasized in a recent report summing up the Federal government’s experience with telework during Fiscal Year 2020 that the practice will remain important to the government going forward particularly in creating further resiliency of agency operations and in helping workforce recruiting efforts.

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Kevin McCarthy-min

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., expressed “serious concerns” regarding wide-scale government telework in a Dec. 8 letter to leadership at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Office of Personnel Management, and the General Services Administration.

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telework

A sampling of Federal agencies’ efforts to provide remote access for telework during the COVID-19 pandemic shows that each of the agencies was able to put the right technologies in place to accomplish that goal, but that several had not fully addressed relevant guidance for securing remote access systems, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found.

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telework

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, along with other natural disasters, forced the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to shift to remote work. In a new report, the agency’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) said that the EPA was able to effectively plan a long-term solution to address remote access concerns while also transitioning to the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) contract.

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NIH

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has invested “proactively and preemptively” in technology, so that when the coronavirus pandemic hit NIH it was able to seamlessly transition to a telework environment, according to the NIH CIO and Director of the Center for Information Technology, Andrea Norris.

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us passport government publishing office gpo
telework
Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard expanded its telework capabilities to protect employees during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but the service branch needs to ensure it is auditing data derived from Coast Guard staff self-reporting telework use and health statuses.

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telework

While teleworking during the pandemic, women have had to balance work and home responsibilities while still attempting to achieve corporate goals and managing teams and customer needs. Women in the Federal sector discussed the positives and negatives of telework, and the urgency to have women rejoin the workforce on July 14 during a Women in Leadership Forum hosted by ACT-IAC.

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telework, workplace

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) successfully adapted to a flexible telework schedule for employees during the COVID-19 pandemic and plans to retain hybrid training and development opportunities for employees beyond the public health crisis, according to a DHS official.

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As Federal agencies deliberate how to reopen traditional offices and the policies they will need to keep employees safe, one thing is clear: gone are the days when the cubicle was the only option for government workers. The pandemic has forced Federal agencies to rethink telework policies, remote work, and even in-office setups.

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As more Federal employees are going back to the office, there are efforts to understand the impact telework had. According to a recent survey, one effect was a substantial boost in productivity, as 79 percent of Federal employees found their productivity increased while teleworking during the pandemic, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) found.

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OMB

Jason Miller, the deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), said he hopes the government’s expansion of telework for Federal employees will serve as a “leapfrog moment” and help the government to better compete in the battle for talent.

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The Pentagon is a very large building that houses a lot of the authorities for the U.S. Military. It's big. This photo doesn't do it justice, but they're kinda rightly concerned about people flying drones around there.

As vaccination rates increase and the United States nears closer to a broader return to offices, Federal IT officials in the Department of Defense (DoD) are reporting that their organizations’ IT environment is more complex now than two years ago, according to a recent Axonius and MeriTalk survey.

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telework, workplace
telework

The U.S. Air Force (USAF) wants to build on its current transformational period, catalyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic, to accelerate change and position the military to win, and the service branch’s CIO spoke on June 8 about tech strategies that the Air Force and the Defense Department are putting in place to get to that goal.

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