OPM updates telework guidelines

The Office of Personnel Management released today a new guide for running telework at government agencies. It provides detailed information covering everything from establishing an agency policy to stressing that safety requirements apply to teleworkers. It also contains separate sections for managers and employees that serve as a step-by-step guide to handling telework.

OPM’s guidance “provides the steps that agencies should take to make telework an integral part of their plans to maintain operations in the event of a pandemic health crisis,” said Daniel Green, OPM’s deputy associate director of the Center for Employee and Family Support Policy, in a statement.

The guide includes a fact sheet that covers an overall list of guidelines for agencies.

One of the guide’s largest sections is on the topic of security, which applies Office of Management and Budget guidelines and National Institute of Institutes and Standards special publications to remote work situations.

The guide comes as efforts to establish telework programs at agencies have increased. The Internal Revenue Service said some of its employees were teleworking after being displaced from its Washington, D.C., headquarters after torrential downpours and flooding in late June.

OPM has also updated its online telework training courses, which now include a lesson on pandemic influenza and separate education for managers and employees.

The guide is the third and final installment that OPM has issued to help prepare agencies for a possible pandemic flu outbreak or similar interruption in operations.

Other parts of the new package include information about overseas employees, workforce management planning, and flexibilities in employee pay and leave.

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