Expanded TW in HQ will look a lot like it does in the field offices, with a few exceptions. It will be rolled out over time because of the scale involved. There will be more details coming, but here we provide basic information about how it will be implemented. We hope this will be helpful, particularly for those interested in participating in expanded telework.
Preparations for Expanded TW
Expanded TW at HQ will be implemented in 2 Phases. The Phases will allow the Agency to proceed as quickly as possible while managing the accompanying logistics and consolidation of the HQ floorplan. Phase 1 will include the analyst staff in HC, EWIS, ARM, FMCI, NRE, PI, SI, and FMA. Phase 2 will include ASM, DCM, FAIS, HSJ, IAT, and IT. Employees in the Phase 1 teams will have the option to begin expanded telework in about 3 months and employees in Phase 2 teams in 7 to 8 months.
- The Agency will prep for each Phase by surveying HQ analyst staff in the designated mission teams to ascertain levels of interest in the program. We expect the survey for Phase 1 will be implemented as soon as the week of May 15. This information will allow ISTS to plan arrangements for equipment, IO to make workspaces available to be reserved when teleworkers come into the office, and officials to prepare for the staff and mission team relocations necessary to consolidate space and allow for additional building tenants.
- Once the initial Phase 1 survey is fielded and analyzed, interested employees will be able to submit new continuing telework applications. Eligibility will be the same as it is for employees in the field offices.
- Once approved, employees with agreements to telework 50 percent or more of their schedule may begin packing and clearing out their workspaces, charging the non-SES admin timecode per the MOA.
Phase 1 Begins
- All employees approved for expanded telework may begin teleworking from the alternate worksite 12 weeks from now, provided that they have vacated their workspaces. In the near term, before consolidation and relocation of teams begins, these workspaces will be set aside for use as reservable space for teleworkers when they come into the office.
- The minimum reporting requirement of 14 hours per pay period over at least 2 days will be the same as it is for colleagues in the field, with the same limited exceptions. Expanded teleworkers will also have the ability to take certain GAO equipment to use at the alternate worksite, if they choose (monitor, docking station, keyboard, mouse, etc.).
The following chart illustrates the timeline of activities prior to when those approved may begin expanded telework.
- Phase 2 implementation activities are similar except that they will begin about 4 months after Phase 1 begins, and take a little less time overall.
Eligibility for Designated and Reservable Workspaces
- All HQ employees who do not telework, only telework episodically, or have a continuing agreement for less than 50 percent of their schedule will continue to have a designated workspace. If you telework you have the option of sharing your workspace with colleagues who are expanded teleworkers, though sharing is not a requirement.
- HQ employees who are expanded teleworkers are not eligible for designated workspaces. The alternate worksite is considered their primary workspace, and when they report to the office they must reserve a workspace through a reservation system. Initially, the workspaces available to reserve will be those that have been vacated by colleagues who elect to go out on expanded TW. Workspaces may be reserved for a partial day, a full day, or multiple days up to two (2) weeks in advance.
New Concepts for HQ
- Telework Ready
- Varying Work Schedules Under A Continuing TW Agreement
Will Mission Teams and Non-Teleworking Employees Have to Relocate?
One of the goals for GAO in implementing expanded TW at HQ is to consolidate the amount of space occupied by staff in order to make room for additional tenants. Over time, some mission teams will be relocated and some staff with designated workspaces within the teams will also relocate. The particular details will depend a great deal on the number of staff who participate in expanded TW. This overall process will take place in steps and will be fully negotiated by the GAO Employees Organization and GAO management. We will provide opportunity for input as we proceed, and there will be plenty of advance notice.
Can APSS Colleagues Participate?
The GAO Employees Organization requested that we hold joint negotiations for expanded TW at HQ for the Analyst and APSS units. GAO management declined and indicated significant reservations for implementing expanded telework for APSS, including the fact that some APSS positions might not be suitable to being performed away from the office 50 percent or more. At this time, our colleagues in the APSS bargaining unit can telework under the existing policy to the extent they are eligible. GAO has recently indicated they intend to negotiate with APSS regarding expanded telework and we will keep you notified of any progress in this area.
We encourage you to read the MOA if you have more questions. If you don’t find an answer there, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will also provide additional updates on expanded telework in HQ as implementation proceeds.
For more information about membership in the GAO Employees Organization, please visit www.gaoemployees.org/join.html.