OPM Finds Agency Telework Continues to Increase

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The Office of Personnel Management report on the status of telework in 2016 found that the number of Federal employees who telework has continued to increase.

From 2013 to 2015 telework participation increased from 39 percent to 46 percent of eligible employees; 34 percent of those employees teleworked 1-2 days per week over a two-week period.

However, the number of employees eligible for telework has remained steady. In 2014 and 2015, 44 percent of Federal employees were eligible to telework. OPM recommended that agencies update their policies that may have been created when teleworking first began to continue to expand telework programs.

OPM found that maintaining accurate employee attendance data is critical for improving telework policies. Sixty-one percent of agencies rely on time and attendance data to track those who are teleworking. OPM suggested that agencies move toward adopting automated data collection systems to decrease errors in time sheet records and technology limitations.

Eighteen percent of agencies did not set any telework participation goals for their employees despite the Telework Data Call, which asked agencies to craft goals for 2016. However, 5 percent of agencies said they didn’t promote telework at all in 2015.

Agencies promote telework through continuity of operations events and planning, agencywide meetings, agencywide emails, and aligning telework with agency strategic goals and missions.

OPM found that employees who telework report more job satisfaction and employee engagement compared to employees who report barriers to telework.

OPM said  it will continue to support agencies in improving telework policies and updating data reporting.

Morgan Lynch
About Morgan Lynch
Morgan Lynch is a Staff Reporter for MeriTalk covering Federal IT and K-12 Education.
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