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Remote Work

The agreement to apply for Remote Work is on @theCore. Please read below for more information and instructions on how to access the form.

Remote work is an arrangement under which an employee is not expected to report to an agency worksite on a regular and recurring basis—for remote workers, the remote work location is their official duty station (e.g., their home). The USGS Remote Work 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.


DOI Remote Work Policy

Effective August 23, 2021, Personnel Bulletin 20-06 established the Department of the Interior’s first agency-wide policy for implementing employee-initiated requests for remote work arrangements. Department of the Interior (DOI) Remote Work information may be found at:

Departmental Remote Work Policy Update September 19, 2023


Planned changes to Interior’s Telework and Remote Work Posture

Planned changes to Interior’s Telework and Remote Work Posture

FAQs as of 8/30/23

FAQs as of 8/30/23

FAQs as of 8/9/23

FAQs as of 8/9/23

FAQs as of 7/28/23

FAQs as of 7/28/23

Telework and Employee-Initiated Remote Work Comparison Chart


USGS Remote Work Procedures

USGS has developed a new Remote Work Agreement. To find this agreement, go to @theCore, click on the A-Z Index at the top, click on "R", then select the link "Remote Work Agreement Request". This link will open the Future of Work SharePoint site, please click on the first link, Remote Work Agreement, to begin the application. The NeedtoKnow (NTK) email from December 14, 2021 contains an Announcement, "Remote Work Implementation and Telework Reminder". This announcement also contains the link to the Future of Work SharePoint site. A recorded presentation of the Telework and Remote Work information session from January 2022 is available on @theCore, it can be found under "R" and "T" on the A-Z Index.

The documents below contain USGS remote work guidance that was approved by the Department of the Interior. They are for information purposes only and do not contain the Remote Work Agreement, which is housed on the internal USGS site.

USGS Remote Work Determination Guidance

USGS Remote Work Agreement Evaluation Criteria (worksheet for supervisors)

Remote Work and Telework FAQs (developed by USGS)

Remote Work And Telework FAQs (developed by U.S. General Services Administration).

When USGS first established the bureau policy for implementing remote work, a key provision was that new employees (whether new to the bureau or new to their position) would have to wait 1 year to request remote work. After evaluating the program, the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) decided to change the 1-year waiting period to 90 days. Effective March 13, 2023, before employees can apply for remote work, they must wait at least 90 days from: (1) their appointment with USGS; or (2) their most recent promotion; or (3) their most recent transfer, reinstatement, reassignment or detail to a different position or different geographical area.


Overseas Remote Work

Overseas work is addressed in the US Department of the Interior's Personnel Bulletin 20-06, Departmental Remote Work Policy, dated July 23, 2021. The information therein is based on guidance from the U.S. Department of State, which oversees the ‘Requirements for Executive Branch Employees Teleworking in Foreign Locations,’ also known as a Domestic Employee Teleworking Overseas (DETO) arrangement.

Specifically, unless exempted by Presidential directive or legislation, Executive Branch Federal employees conducting official U.S. Government business in foreign countries are subject to Department of State’s Chief of Mission authority and their presence at an overseas post must be pre-approved via the National Security Decision Directive 38 (NSDD38), if over one year, or the Country Clearance process, if less than one year. Domestic Employees Teleworking Overseas (DETO) fall under this category.

DETOs are generally defined as overseas remote work arrangements wherein the Federal Executive Branch employee temporarily performs the work requirements and duties of their position from an approved overseas location via a DETO Agreement. Employees have no authorization to telework from a foreign location without an approved DETO Agreement.  DETO arrangements are extremely rare in the Federal Government due to increased security concerns and costs to employing agencies. 

Below is additional guidance provided by the U.S. Department of State as to when a DETO requirement would be required.

Q:  For employees assigned to domestic positions, what is the difference between overseas telework that requires a DETO agreement and mobile work overseas? Is there any mobile work I can do overseas without a DETO agreement in place?

A:  Telework is a workplace flexibility that allows an employee to perform work, during any part of the employee’s regular, paid duty hours, at an approved alternative worksite. When an employee requests permission to telework their domestic position from overseas, for any duration, they must have a signed DETO agreement and Chief of Mission approval.

Overseas telework that requires a DETO agreement is distinct from mobile work, which can encompass a range of scenarios. For example, an employee overseas on leave who checks their work email, touches base with their supervisor, calls into a meeting, or logs into a work account to accomplish a discrete task such as clearing a document would be considered to be doing mobile work. In addition, an employee who is overseas on a TDY assignment might log in and attend to some of their domestic work while overseas. This would also be considered mobile work. The State Department understands that employees on leave or on TDY travel overseas sometimes conduct brief spates of mobile work, and these do not require a DETO agreement.

However, employees who have moved overseas or are traveling overseas and intend to fully carry-out their job functions during work day(s) from an overseas location are considered to be teleworking and must have approved DETO arrangements in place.


Special Locality Pay to Civil Service Domestic Employees Teleworking Overseas (DETO)

All DETOs working their domestic positions from an overseas location lose their domestic locality pay, but Foreign Service DETOs are eligible to receive a type of locality payment called Overseas Comparability Pay (OCP). Civil Service DETOs are not eligible for OCP, creating a pay parity issues between Foreign Service and Civil Service DETOs. To provide pay parity, Section 9717 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) signed December 23, 2022, authorizes locality pay for Civil Service DETOs to receive the lesser of:  

The locality pay the employee would have received had they not moved overseas as a DETO; OR

The current rate of OCP paid to Foreign Service employees working overseas, including Foreign Service employees on DETO arrangements.



DETO Briefing from OPM (PPT)

DETO Briefing Follow-Up Questions (PDF)

Domestic Employees Teleworking Overseas (DETO) Agreement (Word)

Policy Requirements for Executive Branch Domestic Employees Teleworking from Overseas (DETO) (PDF)

Message from the Department of State DETO Policy Team about Locality Pay for Civil Service Employees

2023 General Schedule Salary Schedule (Overseas - DETO) (PDF)

Domestic Employee Teleworking Overseas (DETO) Interagency Policy Template (PDF)


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