New White residence guidance because that feds return to the office and the future 'hybrid' commonwealth workforce

by Natalie AlmsJun 10, 2021

The Biden management released accuse on Thursday for the large return come in-person work across the government, rolling ago the existing occupancy limits, but keeping the government"s preferably teleworking status in place.

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Key dates and milestones

* 25% capacity limit for federal buildings rescinded.

* preferably teleworking status remains in place

* last reentry plans early July 19

* agencies instructed to provide employees at least 30-days notification before implementing reentry plans

"Significant progress is being made in our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic," the memo states. "Given the progress, the administration is acquisition prudent measures to setup for one effective, orderly, and also safe return of federal employees and contractors come the physics workplace."

The June 10 memo, sent to organ from the acting directors that the Office the Management and Budget and also the Office of Personnel Management and the acting administrator that the general Services Administration, rescinds Trump-era re-opening policies outlined in April 2020.

Currently, agencies space charged with having re-opening plan of how and when lock will increase the variety of on-site employees, and also policies because that after re-opening, through July 19. The task pressure will testimonial these plans before agencies space instructed to release them publicly.

Under the brand-new policy, agencies must update the workforce safety and security with existing health and also safety guidance, including Centers for condition Control"s guidance telling vaccinated people they don"t need to mask in most settings. The administration"s more secure Federal workforce Task pressure recently instructed agencies the they shouldn"t call for vaccinations come return to work or ask around vaccine status.

Differences in vaccination status and disclosure might shape federal workplaces together employees return in raising numbers. Back the brand-new guidance walk rolls ago occupancy limits collection by earlier policy, the instructing organ to recognize occupancy limits for separation, personal, instance worksites so that there can be physical distance in between vaccinated and also unvaccinated employees.

In enhancement to finishing your re-opening plans and updating their safety and security plans, agencies must also resolve any cumulative bargaining responsibilities they might have and give employee "ample notice" around coming back, before they bring employees back. In many cases, this will be at the very least 30 days, according to the memo.

Agencies can obtain exceptions indigenous the safety and security principals outlined in prior OMB guidance, the memo states. The task force will review any requests.

Guidance for post-pandemic labor force planning

The recent guidance also gives agencies instructions in regards to planning for the long-term, post-pandemic workforce. It most most likely won"t look favor it used to, the memo states.

Agencies" long-term plans "should be informed by class learned during the past 15 months," the indict states, continuing to say the agencies" "eventual post-pandemic operation state may differ in far-reaching ways from the agency"s pre-pandemic operating state."

Leaders at OPM, OMB and also GSA suppose that countless agencies will seek hybrid occupational setup v some employees who telework occasionally, various other remote employees who never come right into the office and also some feds v flexible job-related schedules, it says.

Decisions because that how different jobs should be situated amongst these options should be highly dependent on the project itself, the memo states. Guidelines for teleworking will certainly most most likely be delegated to the lowest ranking within an agency feasible "to provide maximum flexibility for defining work demands to fulfill mission and workforce needs," that says.

Federal workforce officials space expecting an ext feds to have actually a mix the telework and also on-site work, and more to it is in eligible for an alternate work schedule. Other segments can expand the number of employees working remotely, or never ever being supposed to report come the office, it states.

Even because that feds who need to work mostly on-site to deliver services or due to the fact that of security demands for national security jobs, for example, can be eligible for flexible job-related schedules or sometimes teleworking, the indict states.

Long term, the federal government will need resources to support a change to a an ext hybrid setup. Agencies might need modern technology for meeting capabilities that allow some world to be in the office and also others remote, and also there will additionally be "opportunities" because that "sharing the spaces amongst federal agencies" in the lengthy term real-estate, the memo states.

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These species of workforce flexibilities might be an important in recruitment and also retention long-term, the memo says.

"As presented during the pandemic, organ can, wherein appropriate, deploy personnel policies such together telework, remote work, and also flexible job-related schedules effectively and efficiently as strategic management tools," the memo states. "The shift to the post-reentry work setting offers a distinct opportunity to upgrade federal agency strategies and also policies related to the commonwealth workforce come be more future-focused."

About the Author

Natalie Alms is a staff writer at priziv.org spanning the commonwealth workforce. She is a current graduate that Wake woodland University and also has composed for the Salisbury (N.C.) Post. Attach with Natalie ~ above Twitter at