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Report Says Agencies Should Treat Telework, Office Work Equally

Photo: mspb.gov

The Merit Systems Protection Board recently released a report advising federal agencies to treat teleworkers and non-teleworkers equally.

According to GovExec, the report found teleworking improves employee work-life balance, reduces the need for physical office space and real estate costs, and enhances an organization’s intangible relationships with employees through increased recruitment and retention.

About 20,000 federal employees and supervisors, 9,000 of whom met the study’s completion requirements were surveyed for the report. Of those surveyed, 82 percent said teleworking has a positive impact on their work-life balance.

Separately, 82 percent said they knew how to keep working in case of an emergency, while only 62 of non-teleworkers said the same.

Some of the suggestions the report made to federal agencies include recommending agency leaders to approach telework with the appropriate mind-set to prepare for the culture changes associated with the practice.

Supervisors should give comparable assignments and maintain similar expectations for teleworkers and non-teleworkers, as well as suggesting to leaders that employees have an adequate home office setup and remain fully engaged in their performance even when outside the range of physical supervision.

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