US Congress Defends Telework As Valuable Tool For Federal Employees

Photo by MIKE STOLL on Unsplash

Real-life examples from constituents prove the effectiveness of remote work in supporting military families and people with disabilities.

During a hearing on government oversight held on March 9, freshman members of Congress defended federal agencies’ use of telework as an effective and valuable tool, which has been life-changing for employees who are military spouses or people with disabilities. The lawmakers spoke in support of expanded telework, using real-life examples from their constituents. The Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Kiran Ahuja, shares their view that backlogs and delays are caused by staffing shortages, not telework and remote work.

One example provided was military spouses in Rep. Maxwell Frost’s district who struggled to maintain a career due to frequent moves. Remote work allows them to support their partners while also keeping up with family expenses. Similarly, a State Department employee was able to continue her job while supporting her husband’s career thanks to the remote work option. Ahuja also confirmed that telework helps retain active military members, citing a huge pick-up of interest in remote jobs from military spouses.

The Democratic members of Congress poked holes in the Republican’s attack on telework, with Rep. Gerry Connolly pointing out that the passport services program doesn’t even allow its staff to telework. The lawmakers also emphasized that telework allowed agencies to continue serving the American people during the pandemic while increasing the federal government’s ability to attract diverse talent.


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