Telework Soared at Federal Agencies Amid the Pandemic
Telework became the norm during the pandemic, with only 17 percent of the 2.2 million federal employees physically at their agencies’ worksites full time, according to the 2020 Office of Personnel Management Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey.
About 45 percent of all federal employees — not just those considered telework-eligible — worked remotely at some point during fiscal year 2020, a 23 percent increase, according to OPM’s “Status of Telework in the Federal Government Report to Congress: Fiscal Year 2020.”
“We all got the underlying technologies to make full-time telework for everyone possible,” says Jonathan Alboum, principal digital strategist for the federal government at ServiceNow. “People were able to buy the hardware, they were able to buy the software and implement them in relatively short order.
“But the other piece is the culture and the practices around how agencies work — and those things were less developed and less quick to change.”
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Cloud-based Tools Enable Seamless Telework for Feds
Although federal agencies have historically relied on custom-developed systems, Alboum says, some are adopting end-to-end digital platforms. These offer security reassurance due to FedRAMP certification, and they are helpful in terms of scale, security and speed to develop and implement new requirements.
While some of these new platforms are custom-built for an agency, others turned to commercial upgrades to achieve better security and more speed.