After the Trump administration, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) allows a more flexible remote work policy and regulations.
Recently, the USDA assistant secretary for administration Oscar Gonzales announced a new remote work policy and regulations. The aim is to create a safer workplace and bring back trust among employees. The new plan allows up to eight days at home every two-week pay period. Arrangements will adjust according to duties and positions.
In addition, USDA’s remote work policy and regulations establish clear guidelines about telework and management practices. Unlike the restricted policies of 2018, the Biden administration encourages more flexibility and remote solutions for administration and recruitment alike.
During the previous Trump administration, restrictive telework policies brought a decrease in teleworking at USDA. According to the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS), one in five Agriculture employees worked at home once a week in 2018. And only 4.3% of employees could work at home three or more days a week.
Even with vaccination campaigns kicking off, USDA’s new program aims to expand remote work policy and regulations to increase the employees’ morale. The office will use a survey pilot from the Office of Management and Budget to adjust internal guidelines.
So, USDA will call employees back in the office, expanding flexibility and safety in the workplace. However, the organization specifying this return highly depends on the pandemic. And remote work is a key strategy to keep employees safe and motivated.