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This Washington Post article highlights another potential change in the federal workforce. This proposed change would require more federal managers to allow their employees to work from home.

This is going to be a tough sell to an entire generation of managers. Back in the day when I was a government attorney, I suggested the idea that we E-file our appeals to the Merit Systems Protection Board ( MSPB). My boss nearly stroked out, suggesting that “the Agency” was not ready for the change. You can’t imagine the paperwork we had to fill out if we wanted to work from home. The poor guy just couldn’t let go of the control he had in physically seeing his employees as they worked.

My point is not to bash a particular generation of federal managers. My point is that federal employees who are comfortable with the concept of telecommuting and telework should expect to see a lot of federal managers who are not comfortable with the concept regain their “control” by taking more frequent and more baseless disciplinary and performance actions against their employees.

I’m all for telecommuting or telework – it’s time is past due. In most federal jobs, there is very rarely a need for a particular employee to work from a particular cubicle, and the government wastes a lot of money in property leases and energy costs that are wholly unnecessary. I’m just concerned that management at many of the more anachronistic agencies aren’t ready for the change.

If you have been disciplined for conduct or performance relating to your work-from-home arrangement, contact the Law Offices of Eric L. Pines, PLLC today.

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Eric L. Pines is a nationally recognized federal employment lawyer, mediator, and attorney business coach. He represents federal employees and acts as in-house counsel for over fifty thousand federal employees through his work as a federal employee labor union representative.

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