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VAer1  
#1 Posted : Sunday, August 1, 2021 7:12:03 PM(UTC)
VAer1

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I know that a lot of employees work from home 100% during pandemic. Now it is about time to return to office, at least part-time in office and part-time telework.

I am wondering if there are any fully remote positions in federal government. I would like to find a permanently teleworking position.

Thanks.
frankgonzalez  
#2 Posted : Monday, August 2, 2021 3:42:21 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: VAer1 Go to Quoted Post
I know that a lot of employees work from home 100% during pandemic. Now it is about time to return to office, at least part-time in office and part-time telework.

I am wondering if there are any fully remote positions in federal government. I would like to find a permanently teleworking position.

Thanks.
Ok...gotta learn the correct terms:

Full time Telework: You are still in the local area of your office and can easily go in if needed.

Remote Work: You live anywhere (typically somewhere in the US, there may be outliers where you could be overseas, maybe with Dept of State), and your locality rate is determined by your home not your office you report to. Typically, this type of position has to be determined to be in the best interest of the government (ie. If your office you report to is in Alamogordo, NM, but you want to live in NYC, Chicago or Los Angeles, then it would not be in the interest of the government as your locality pay would be higher if you were allowed to work remotely. The reverse may be better for Uncle Sam though). In this case, if the agency needs you at your office for any specific reason (ie Training, briefing senior staff, etc), they will pay for your travel, per diem, etc. This type of travel should be infrequent.

My agency is discussing remote work options as we consider returning to on site work for those who have not had to be on site for mission critical needs. We have had a year+ experiment where most people were 100% teleworking, and so we have an idea of what needs to be done in the office (but wasn't due to covid, but will need to be done once we are back on site once again) vs those positions that could be done anywhere. Add in the fact we have done some organizational restructuring, so many people are not simply working at a single location, but their customers are across the whole agency now, not just locally. This decreases the argument those people need to be on site. We already had some work remotely pre-covid. We are already seeing requests from more people after this past year.

Some agencies (and sometimes sub-agencies) have had quite a few remote workers. I know DoD Investigation and Resolution Division (they do the EEO investigations for DoD) investigators were mostly remote workers once they finished their initial probation period with a regional office as most of their work was travel to site to do interviews, write report and submit it to their supervisor for review and then to the agency for the record. As this required very little need to be in the office, they allow their folks to remote work.



You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
FAct_88  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, August 18, 2021 11:37:49 AM(UTC)
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Don't mean to hijack this topic, but it strikes me that no discussions seem to be taking place about how the "new normal" might impact organizational dynamics and morale. In my office of about 150 people (mix of contractors and FTEs) I am guessing about 30% of our staff will have to come back regularly to the office because their jobs heavily involved "touching stuff". The other 70% will probably make a case that they don't need to come into the office only once a week, or others making the case that they don't need to come into the office at all. As it is, most of the people in the 30% group make 75K and under, the 70% group makes 75K or better (sometimes much better). But in the new normal, the better paid group are now being handed a permanent defacto raise in that they say goodbye to commuting costs and time, but the peons who have to come back to the office once again have to shoulder commuting costs etc. We are going to create two classes of employees, and if anyone thinks the 30% won't resent the 70% you would be naïve. And if you think that doesn't degrade a sense of organizational unity, you'd be foolish.

The other thing I'm hearing is that people don't want to come back to regular office work "because they've proved they don't have to" but are asking when they will be allowed to start traveling again to all those meetings. When I point out that these meetings have been held virtually during the pandemic, and haven't we "proved" that we don't need to travel and have face-to-face interactions, I'm reminded that we are missing the coffee and lunch break interactions, the discussions at the bar before dinner, etc., I remind them that these same things happened back when we all came into the office. So ad hoc personal interactions are important as long as it involves a trip to Key West In January; but not so important if it involves an hour long commute to your office in Silver Spring MD? Hypocrisy.
VAer1  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, August 18, 2021 11:55:46 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: FAct_88 Go to Quoted Post
Don't mean to hijack this topic, but it strikes me that no discussions seem to be taking place about how the "new normal" might impact organizational dynamics and morale. In my office of about 150 people (mix of contractors and FTEs) I am guessing about 30% of our staff will have to come back regularly to the office because their jobs heavily involved "touching stuff". The other 70% will probably make a case that they don't need to come into the office only once a week, or others making the case that they don't need to come into the office at all. As it is, most of the people in the 30% group make 75K and under, the 70% group makes 75K or better (sometimes much better). But in the new normal, the better paid group are now being handed a permanent defacto raise in that they say goodbye to commuting costs and time, but the peons who have to come back to the office once again have to shoulder commuting costs etc. We are going to create two classes of employees, and if anyone thinks the 30% won't resent the 70% you would be naïve. And if you think that doesn't degrade a sense of organizational unity, you'd be foolish.

The other thing I'm hearing is that people don't want to come back to regular office work "because they've proved they don't have to" but are asking when they will be allowed to start traveling again to all those meetings. When I point out that these meetings have been held virtually during the pandemic, and haven't we "proved" that we don't need to travel and have face-to-face interactions, I'm reminded that we are missing the coffee and lunch break interactions, the discussions at the bar before dinner, etc., I remind them that these same things happened back when we all came into the office. So ad hoc personal interactions are important as long as it involves a trip to Key West In January; but not so important if it involves an hour long commute to your office in Silver Spring MD? Hypocrisy.


Not much commute cost, as far as I know, many people working in DC metro area gets public transportation subsidy, which is enough to cover all commute cost (for many people), so it is more about commute time and life balance. A lot better life quality. It also saves some money on lunch:) I spent around $10 on lunch when in office. I don't like travelling to meetings too, keep virtual meetings.
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