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Big Changes Coming For Federal Workforce

The coronavirus crisis has convinced the country’s largest employer that in many departments, employees can serve the public just as well from home.

This Washington Post story this morning is really interesting. This new openness to telework could change things for a lot of people. Qualified workers who don't live near federal agencies may have the ability to work for the federal government anyway -- and this could also solve the problem of aging, decrepit federal facilities that are too expensive to maintain.

As the Biden administration contemplates how to return the massive federal workforce to the office, government officials are moving to make a pandemic experiment permanent by allowing more employees than ever to work from home — a sweeping cultural change that would have been unthinkable a year ago.

The shift across the government, whose details are still being finalized, comes after the risk-averse federal bureaucracy had fallen behind private companies when it came to embracing telework — a posture driven by a perception that employees would slack off unless they were tethered to their office cubicles. That position hardened during the Trump administration, which dialed back work-from-home programs that had slowly expanded during the Obama era.

But the coronavirus crisis — and a new president eager to rebuild the trust of federal workers who had been attacked by former president Donald Trump as “the swamp” — has convinced the country’s largest employer that in many departments, employees can serve the public just as well from home, officials said.

Go read the whole thing, it will be quite the culture change.

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