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Definitions Edit

Telework is

a work arrangement that allows an employee to perform work, during any part of regular, paid hours, at an approved alternative worksite (e.g., home, telework center). This definition of telework includes what is generally referred to as remote work but does not include any part of work done while on official travel or mobile work.[1]
[t]he ability for an organization's employees and contractors to perform work from locations other than the organization's facilities.[2]
a flexible workplace arrangement where employees perform their duties, responsibilities, and other authorized activities from approved worksites. The approved worksite is different than the location from which the employee would typically work.[3]
[a]n arrangement in which an employee regularly performs officially assigned duties at home or an alternate work site.[4]

Overview Edit

Generally speaking, there are two types of telework:

  • routine telework, in which telework occurs as part of an ongoing, regular schedule and
  • situational telework that is approved on a case-by-case basis, where the hours worked were not part of a previously approved, ongoing and regular telework schedule. Examples of situational telework include telework as a result of inclement weather, doctor appointment, or special work assignments, and is sometimes also referred to as situational, episodic, intermittent, unscheduled, or ad-hoc telework.

U.S. government Edit

Legislation related to telework began to emerge from Congress in the 1990s. For example, beginning in 1992, Congress provided funding to the GSA to establish the first federal telework centers.[5] Three years later, Congress permanently authorized federal agencies to spend money to install telephone lines and related equipment and pay monthly charges for federal workers authorized to work at home, in accordance with Office of Personnel Management (OPM) guidelines.[6]

Within the legislation that evolved from 1992 through 2009, the most significant congressional action was the enactment of Section 359 of Pub. L. No. 106-346 in October 2000. This law states that

[e]ach executive agency shall establish a policy under which eligible employees of the agency may participate in telecommuting to the maximum extent possible without diminished employee performance.[7]

Associated language in the conference report for this legislation expanded on that requirement where it said that

[e]ach agency participating in the program shall develop criteria to be used in implementing such a policy and ensure that managerial, logistical, organizational, or other barriers to full implementation and successful functioning of the policy are removed. Each agency should also provide for adequate administrative, human resources, technical, and logistical support for carrying out the policy.

The law also directed OPM to provide that the law's requirements were applied to 25% of the federal workforce by April 2001 and to an additional 25% of the federal workforce in each subsequent year, until 2004 when the law was to be applied to 100% of the federal workforce.[8]. However, from 2005 through 2009, federal workforce participation in routine telework remained low.

Congress passed the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010[9] in November 2010 and the President signed it into law in December 2010. The law requires each executive agency to designate a telework managing officer, establish a telework policy, and submit an annual report to the Chair and Vice Chair of the Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCO) Council[10] on the agency's efforts to promote telework. Under the Act, OPM is to play a leading role in helping agencies implement the new telework provisions. The law requires OPM to provide policy and policy guidance for telework in several areas, including pay and leave, agency closure, performance management, official worksite, recruitment and retention, and accommodations for employees with disabilities. In developing its telework policy and policy guidance, the OPM is to consult with FEMA, GSA, and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) relative to their designated areas of policy responsibility.

References Edit

  1. Federal Telework: Program Measurement Continues to Confront Data Reliability Issues, at 19.
  2. NIST Special Publication 800-46) (Guide to Enterprise Telework and Remote Access Security), at A-2.
  3. Agencies Need Coordinated Guidance on Incorporating Telework into Emergency and Continuity Planning, at 1 n.2.
  4. Telework and Remote Access, at 3.
  5. Pub. L. No. 102-393, 106 Stat. 1729, 1745 (Oct. 6, 1992). A GSA-sponsored telework center was a facility that (1) provided, on a fee for use/service basis, workstations and other office facilities/services used by federal employees from several agencies and was used as a geographically-convenient alternative worksite for its users. In November 2010, GSA announced that it planned to end its sponsorship and funding of its 14 telework centers by March 2011, due to the high cost of maintaining the centers relative to their low usage, and the increased, widespread use of residential telework.
  6. Section 620 of Pub. L. No. 104-52, 109 Stat. 468, 501 (Nov. 19, 1995); 31 U.S.C. §1348 note.
  7. Section 359 of Pub. L. No. 106-346, 114 Stat. 1356, 1356A-36 (Oct. 23, 2000); 5 U.S.C. §6120 note.
  8. See also Pub. L. No. 108-199, Division B, §627 (Jan. 23, 2004; Pub. L. No. 108-447, Division B, §622 (Dec. 8, 2004).
  9. Pub. L. No. 111-292, 124 Stat. 3165 (Dec. 9, 2010), codified at chapter 65 of title 5, United States Code.
  10. The Chief Human Capital Officers Act of 2002, enacted as part of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, established a Chief Human Capital Officers Council to advise and coordinate the activities of member agencies on such matters as the modernization of human-resources systems, improved quality of human-resources information, and legislation affecting human-resources operations and organizations. Pub. L. No. 107-296, §1303, 116 Stat. 2135, 2288-89 (Nov. 25, 2002), 5 U.S.C. §1401 note.

See also Edit

External resources Edit

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