Telework also called telecommuting, is an innovative tool for managing an organization more efficiently and increasing the productivity, morale, and retention of employees. Telework is a win-win for the employer and the employee!
Telework Policy and Contact Information
• Please refer to the Department Telework Policy (October 2014) for the Department-wide telework policy. This policy applies to all employees of the Department except USPTO and those employees in bargaining unit covered by a collective bargaining agreement (CAB) or memorandum of understanding (MOU) concerning the 2014 Department policy.
• Each bureau in Commerce has a telework point of contact that can give you more information about telework in your organization. If that organization has an approved telework implementation plan, a link to it is under the coordinator’s name.
• Each employee must have completed Telework 101 - Employee via the Commerce Learning Center (CLC) or an interactive training program approved by the Department and an approved individual telework agreement in place before he/she is permitted to telework. The agreement must conform to the provisions of the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 and the Department’s revised policy, CBA, or MOU, as appropriate.
Telework and Federal Office Closure, Delayed Arrival, and Early Dismissal
The Office of Personnel Management has issued its “Washington, DC, Area Dismissal and Closure Procedures (December 2015)” (Dismissal Procedures). This publication contains guidance on the use of telework when OPM issues an announcement concerning Federal office closings, delayed arrival, and early dismissal due to emergency conditions in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
Recording Telework Hours
Either you or your timekeeper is responsible for recording all of your telework time, including regular or episodic, in the time and attendance system, webTA, to reflect when you telework and where you telework (at your home-based office or an alternative worksite).
Preparing for the telework arrangement
Employees should consider the following factors in making an honest assessment about their telework capabilities:
Telework is voluntary, can be terminated at any time, by the employee or the supervisor, and should not be used as a “one size fits all” approach.
Mandatory Training Sessions on the basics of the Department’s Telework Program will help to ensure that you and your supervisor have an understanding of its requirements.
The Commerce Learning Center provides training and certification requirements for supervisors and employees.
• Ensure that the same performance standards, derived from a modern, effective, credible, and validated performance system, are used to evaluate both teleworkers and nonteleworkers;
• Establish guidelines to minimize adverse impact on nonteleworkers before employees begin to work at alternate work sites.
Benefits of Telework to our Mission
• Increase employee performance, efficiency, morale, and job satisfaction;
• Attract skilled workers with diversity from a wider geographic area; support EO 13548 and EO 13518;
• Retain and value employees;
• Attract talent, be regarded as “the best place to work” in the Federal government to compete in the 21st Century;
• Lower absentee rates and attrition;
• Expand “your reach” to your customers by extending the work day;
• Reduce the cost of office space and green house emissions and support Executive Order 13514;
• Improve standards of living and work/life balance to employees.
Benefits of Telework for Employees
• Be more productive without the interruptions of an office setting;
• Work from an alternative location;
• Gain increased flexibility in managing your time and schedule;
• Reduce the cost of daily commutes;
• Stay productive in times of poor weather, mass transit delays, and natural disasters;
• Enjoy a more rewarding and balanced work life, family life, and personal life.
Guidance and Legislation
Telework Enhancement Act of 2010
Federal Employee’s Emergency Guide/Office of Personnel Management
Realizing the Strategies of Workplace Flexibility
Key Practices to Federal Telework
OPM Guide to Telework in the Federal Government
The Telework Exchange
2012 Telework Report to Congress
Frequently Asked Questions