Top line

The White House will ask all employees to return to the office for in-person work in July, a source confirmed to Forbes Tuesday, a step that comes as many companies across the country and the rest of the federal government weigh in on when and how to get their employees back after more than a year of remote work.

Highlights

White House workers received a note from the Office of Management and Administration asking them to “transition to full-time work on campus during the period July 6-23,” Axios reported for the first time. time.

Employees with a “mitigating circumstance” can apply to continue working from home.

Last month – after the Centers for Disease Control relaxed its mask guidelines – the White House sent a notice to employees saying a “maximum telecommuting” policy remained in place.

Key context

Most White House workers – around 80 to 90 percent – have worked from home since President Joe Biden took office in January, the source estimated at Forbes. On January 25, the Office of Management and Budget urged employees to “do everything possible” to work remotely and limited the number of workers allowed in federal buildings to 25%. The staffing arrangement was a departure from the Trump administration, which had more employees working in person. About 60% of all federal employees said they worked remotely during the “peak of the pandemic” last year in the 2020 Federal Employee Perspective survey. In April 2020, Trump called the agencies start writing plans for workers to return to the office.

What to watch out for

How other federal agencies bring their employees back. The Biden administration has been working on plans to permanently offer remote work to federal employees, the Washington post reported in May. This month, the White House will release advice on how agencies can return to the office and continue to offer hybrid work options so employees can work remotely and in person. Last fall, more than 20 people linked to the White House, including former President and former First Lady Melania Trump, contracted Covid-19.

Chief critic

“COVID-19 cases are in free fall across the country and it is high time the federal workforce returned to its workplace,” said Representative Jody Hice (R-Ga.), the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee and Government Reform. , said last month. “Prolonged remote working harms Americans’ access to federal agencies and costs taxpayers.”

Large number

2.1 million. It is the number of employees who work for the federal government.

Further reading

Biden administration to make pandemic work-from-home experience permanent for many federal workers (Washington Post)