Biden administration says the federal workforce needs to increase in-person work

Many workers in both the private and public sector worked from home starting in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Published: April 15, 2023 10:52am

The Biden administration announced this week the need for government employees to return to the office on a regular basis, as many have been working from home since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

On Thursday, the deputy director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, Jason Miller, put out a memo of guidelines for federal employees, noting that they must "substantially increase" in-office work.

"The guidance we are releasing today directs agencies to refresh their Work Environment plans and policies—with the general expectation that agency headquarters will continue to substantially increase in-person presence in the office—while also conducting regular assessments to determine what is working well, what is not, and what can be improved," the memo reads.

Many workers in both the private and public sector worked from home starting in 2020 due to COVID-19.

In-person attendance for work, specifically for government employees, is now expected due to the federal pandemic response coming to a close, with programs wrapping up as the Public Health Emergency is set to end May 11. 

White House Office of Management and Budget director Shalanda Young wrote in another memo the importance of building routines with going back to in-person work.

"One year after agencies completed reentry, and with the planned conclusion of the public health emergency, it is the right time for agencies to assess their work environments, reflecting on what they have learned as they build routines for measuring and monitoring organizational health and organizational performance," Young said in the memo.  

"It is the expectation that as a part of these assessments agencies will continue to substantially increase meaningful in-person work at Federal offices, particularly at headquarters and equivalents, while still using flexible operational policies as an important tool in talent recruitment and retention." 

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