- The White House may expand remote working for federal employees post-pandemic, The Washington Post reported.
- Biden is likely to offer many federal employees a hybrid model, per The Post. An official announcement is set for June.
- Before the pandemic, just 3% of federal employees worked permanently from home.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
The White House is considering making flexible working the norm for more federal employees after the pandemic, according to a report by The Washington Post.
The Biden administration is likely to change flexible working rules permanently so that more people can mix working from home with some time in the office, per the report.
President Donald Trump rolled back some remote-working policies introduced by Barack Obama.
Before the pandemic, only 3% of the 2.1 million federal employees worked from home every day. This grew to 59% at the peak of the pandemic, according to a report by the Office of Personnel Management, and federal employees are increasingly asking for clarity on long-term plans, per The Post.
The administration is set to release information on which staff can work from home, and for how long, in June.
Department of Agriculture spokesperson Matt Herrick told The Post that requests to permanently work from home were “number one question employees ask.”
Long-term, the department will allow staff to work from home for up to four days a week and with more flexible schedules, the publication reported.
“This will allow us to recruit and retain the absolute best talent,” Herrick said.
Susan Gough, a spokeswoman for the Defense Department, told The Post that around 11% of civilian and active-duty Pentagon employees sometimes worked from home pre-pandemic. This rose to 75% at one point in 2020, she said.
“Collectively, the federal government has an opportunity for a ‘leapfrog’ moment to shape the future of work,” she said.
Sources told The Post that agencies were surveying staff about their working preferences. One option is letting people work from different states while still managing a team based in Washington, DC, per The Post.
There is growing momentum for companies to let employees work from home permanently. Facebook, Twitter, Salesforce, and Ford have said their employees can remotely post-pandemic, and some companies are canceling office leases. Coinbase is even scrapping its former San Francisco headquarters in favor of a decentralized and remote model.
But some companies are hesitant to let staff work from home permanently. Google is opening new offices in Houston and Portland and has resisted going fully remote. A report by the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that working from home means longer hours, fewer sick days, and fewer bonuses.
Business News Governmental News Finance News
Need Your Help Today. Your $1 can change life.