Human Capital

Telework

Telework provides employees with the opportunity to perform their duties at alternative worksites during an agreed-upon portions of their work week. Alternative worksites may include an employee's home, a telecommuting center (commonly called a telecenter) or another USGS facility, or a "virtual office." 

The USGS Telework program is administered by the Employee Relations Department of Human Resources.  Please contact your assigned Employee Relations Specialist if you have any questions or concerns.

Teleworking Rules and Regulations

Department of the Interior (DOI) Telework Program information, policies, fact sheets, and forms are found at:

 

Annual Telework Review and Renewal

We have many more employees teleworking these days than in the past.  Therefore, we wanted to share with you the following guide, "How to Initiate a Telework Agreement" (guide is available at @theCore A-Z Index under Telework Agreement, Guide).

In addition, you should be aware that Telework Agreements need to be reviewed on an annual basis.  Employees will receive a renewal notice from DOI 30 days before their telework agreement expires. If employees fail to renew the telework agreement or the agreement is not approved by management official(s), the employees will receive a system-generated email seven days before the telework agreement expires. If employees do not have an approved telework agreement in place at the one-year mark, the employees will receive an additional reminder to initiate a telework agreement.  After the one-year mark has passed, employees will be unable to telework until an approved telework agreement has been put in place via the Microsoft Office 365 Telework Agreement Form system.

Employees receiving a renewal notice need to speak to their supervisor and confirm that the details of the telework agreement are current. If employees request a core telework arrangement (i.e., telework on a recurring, scheduled basis), they need to confirm with their supervisor that the concurring management official has not changed. A concurring management official is the management official responsibility for providing second-level review and approval of employee requests for core telework arrangements. Generally, the concurring management official will be an employee’s second-level supervisor. Supervisors with employees requesting core telework arrangements need to notify the concurring management officials of the names of the employee(s) requesting core telework arrangements and the details before they approve the agreements.

After employees have confirmed the details of the telework arrangement with their supervisors, they should use the link found in the telework agreement renewal email to request a telework arrangement. Once they have submitted the telework agreement, they will receive confirmation by email notifying them that the agreement has been sent for review to the supervisor. The supervisor will then receive a system-generated email containing details of the telework agreement. The supervisor should review the details before approving or denying it. If the supervisor denies it, the supervisor is required to provide the business reason. The system-generated denial email is then sent to all parties involved. If the employee has been asked to revise the agreement, the employee should click on the link in their copy of the denial and submit a corrected telework agreement. 

Once the core telework agreement is approved by the supervisor, the concurring management official receives a system-generated email with details of the telework agreement and a link to approve or deny the telework agreement. If the concurring management official approves the telework agreement, the concurring management official, supervisor, and employee receive a system-generated email, which contains details of the approved telework agreement. All parties should keep a copy of the approved email for their records. 

If at any time the supervisor or concurring management official need to deny the telework agreement, they may click on the link in the approved telework agreement. If the employee decides to terminate the telework agreement, they can click the link, select the employee-terminated telework link, and the supervisor will receive a copy of the termination.

 

Telework Updates

We hope everyone is well and healthy. As part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all Federal agencies have been directed to maximize telework across the nation for the Federal workforce (including mandatory telework, if necessary), while maintaining mission-critical workforce needs.  We understand that not everyone is familiar with the abundance of information and guidance available on the OPM website. Therefore, the "Telework Resources for the Federal Community" document summarizes some of the resources available on www.telework.gov that you might find useful as we navigate through these unprecedented times.  OPM has created a web page (https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/covid-19/) dedicated to COVID-19 guidance including a recently released Coronavirus Fact Sheet containing additional guidance and answers to frequently asked questions regarding evacuation payments during a pandemic health crisis.

As we prepare for our workforce to expand the use of telework in response to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we have updated the instructions for coding telework hours in QuickTime during the pandemic.  All telework hours worked since the COVID-19 pandemic declaration was issued last week, should be coded using the pandemic telework indicator codes below. These codes should be used regardless if the hours were worked on an employee’s regularly, scheduled core telework day—or not.

Telework Indicator Codes
During a Pandemic (such as COVID-19), the following codes should be used:
O - EMRG/INT COOP - Pandemic Employee Home Due to a designated pandemic, employee teleworks at home on an emergency/intermittent basis until the event is over.
N - EMRG/INT COOP- Pandemic Alternate Telework Center Due to a designated pandemic, employee teleworks at a work site other than an established telework center on an emergency/intermittent basis until the event is over.

For your reference here is the updated employee resource guide for coding telework hours in QuickTime during the COVID-19 pandemic. This document is also saved on the DOI Human Resources page of the Department’s COVID-19 Information Portal SharePoint Site. 

 

Required Telework Training

Before an employee can telework, and before a telework agreement is executed, the supervisor and employee must complete the required telework training courses, which are available in the Department’s learning management system, DOITalent. Access these trainings by opening DOITalent, go to the Find Learning drop down menu on the top tool bar, and select Courses. A new page will load, enter Telework Fundamentals into the Course Name search box and then click Search. Both, Employee Training and Manager Training, will appear in the search results.

  • Telework Fundamentals – Employee Training
  • Telework Fundamentals – Manager Training

 

Form

  • The Department of the Interior has just released a new Microsoft Office 365 DOI Telework Agreement Form, which must be used for any NEW telework agreements. Effective immediately, please do not use the google form or the interim PDF form any longer.
  • The new form is only for employees who do not have a current telework agreement in place and are able to telework. Employees with a recent approved agreement done in Google or via the interim PDF telework agreement do not need to complete a new telework agreement unless they wish to make changes to their current agreement. Telework agreements are valid for one year. Agreements must be reviewed by the supervisor, concurring management official, if applicable, and teleworker on an annual basis to be revalidated, revised, or terminated as appropriate.
  • If you have questions about how to complete or approve the agreement, please review the instructions on the DOI Telework website or the Department COVID 19 SharePoint site. If you have any technical problems with the new form, please contact the IT help desk for troubleshooting.
  • Employees' telework agreements must be consistent with the telework indicators in FPPS (Federal Personnel and Payroll System). Each organization should keep a list of its telework agreements and inform its servicing HR Assistant whenever agreements are changed so that the FPPS codes can be updated. The list of HR contacts can be found here.
  • When the telework codes in FPPS are updated, the changes will be reflected in QuickTime in about two weeks. If the QuickTime codes need to changed sooner, the local timekeeper can do it but only after FPPS is updated first. If you have any questions about QuickTime, Kathy Takacs can help.

 

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