U.S. Office of Personnel Management
May 2003

Telework: A Management Priority
A Guide for Managers, Supervisors, and Telework Coordinators

OPM Office of the Director Letterhead











Telework is emerging as an important and attractive work option for the Federal Government and its employees. It has the benefit of providing employees with the flexibility to better manage their work and personal responsibilities. For agencies, it provides another flexibility that makes Federal service attractive to prospective employees and a tool to encourage employees to remain in Federal service. Telework also has numerous benefits that complement our transportation systems, conserve resources, and improve the quality of life. It also is a powerful way of assisting those with disabilities to participate fully in the Federal workforce by the means of advanced technology. Telework is essential for volatile situations e.g., during World Bank/IMF mass demonstrations. Telework should be an integral part of any agency's plans for continuity of operations (COOP). Telework allows the Federal government to remain responsive to the Nation at all times.




Managers and supervisors play a key role in the success of telework, identifying eligible positions and employees, setting performance expectations and parameters for telework arrangements, and monitoring productivity. This publication provides guidance to managers and supervisors to assist them with those tasks. In addition to strategies and helpful hints, the guide also includes sample checklists, surveys, safety checklists and telework agreements.




With emerging technologies and the need for employers to be more flexible about where and how people work, telework is one logical and promising solution. Managers and supervisors who aggressively encourage the use of telework for the right employees and the right situations will contribute to the overall performance of the Federal Government.





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  1. What is Telework?
    • Telework: Definitions
    • Alternative Worksites
    • Opportunity to Telework
    • Telecenters
    • Types of Telework
    • The History of Telework
    • The Business Case for Telework
    • Telework for People with Disabilities
    • Benefits to Society
    • Telework and Agency Contingency Plans
  2. Getting Started
    • The Telework Program Manager
    • The Committee
    • The Policy
    • The Training Plan
    • Evaluating the Agency Program
  3. Overcoming Supervisory Challenges
    • Employee Suitability and Selecting Employees
    • The Decision Process
    • Position Suitability
  4. The Supervisor's Role in Making It Happen
    • Helping Employees Change
    • The Telework Agreement
    • Maintaining Balance in the Office
  5. Performance Appraisal
    • How Will Performance Appraisal Be Different?
    • Planning Work and Setting Expectations
    • Monitoring Performance
    • Developing Employee Skills
    • Appraising Performance
    • Recognizing Performance
  6. Conclusions


  1. OPM Letters in Support of Telework
    1. Message from the Director
    2. Memo for Heads of xecutive Departments and Agencies
    3. Message from the Director
  2. Telework Studies and Training Materials
  3. Information Technology Barriers to Telework
  4. Telework Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
  5. Telework Survey for Employees
  6. Telework Survey for Supervisors
  7. Telework Assessment Tool
  8. Telework Agreement
  9. Supervisor Checklist
  10. Safety Guidelines for the Home Work Space

I.  What is Telework?


Telework: Definitions

Telework-also referred to as telecommuting, flexiwork, and flexiplace-is an alternative work arrangement for employees to conduct all or some of their work away from the primary workplace. This concept can be applied to a variety of work experiences. The work location might be a residence, a telecenter (described later in this document), an office closer to the employee's residence, or another acceptable location. The telework schedule may be fixed or episodic.

Managers and supervisors are key players in the telework process. They set the parameters of the telework arrangement and define telework for their organizations. Studies show that clear guidance and direction increase the chances of success for telework programs.

Public Law 106-346 (FY 2001 Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act), Section 359 states that, "Each executive agency shall establish a policy under which eligible employees of the agency may participate in telecommuting to the extent possible without diminished employee performance." The law defines telecommuting as "any arrangement in which an employee regularly performs officially assigned duties at home or other work sites geographically convenient to the residence of the employee," and eligible employee as "any satisfactorily performing employee of the agency whose job may typically be performed at least one day per week at an alternative workplace."

As Congressman Wolf, a leading champion of telework, has said in a 2001 press release:

"… teleworking offers additional benefits for both employees and employers. According to the International Telework Association and Council (ITAC) telework results in increased productivity and worker retention. AT&T, which has more than 25% of its workforce teleworking on a regular basis, has found fewer people taking sick leave, better worker retention and higher productivity since making teleworking an option to employees."


Alternative Worksites

An employee who teleworks may perform work duties at home or at another worksite away from the primary office. These locations constitute alternative worksites. They can be in the employee's home, a telecenter, or another location where there is connectivity to the primary office site and there is an office setting conducive to accomplishing work requirements. The focus should be on providing worksites at locations that reduce employee commuting time and inconvenience while allowing employees to accomplish their work effectively.


Opportunity to Telework

The OPM annual telework survey asks agencies to identify the numbers of employees "offered the opportunity to telework." Agencies ask what OPM means when it asks how many employees are offered the opportunity. Congressman Frank Wolf has stated in a July 2001 letter to the Director of OPM, "Simply put, agencies must specifically identify positions which would be appropriate for teleworking one day each week and offer those employees the option of participating in such an arrangement." This means that supervisors should extend the option of teleworking to all employees they determine are eligible, using their established criteria.



A telecenter is one type of alternative worksite. Typically, a telecenter is a facility that houses workstations that are rented or leased by the employer. One advantage of a telecenter is that employees can work closer to home, reducing commuting time and allowing more time for family and community life. Another advantage is that telecenters often have workstations with state-of-the-art technology, docking stations, conference space, and other amenities. They provide a business-like work setting for the employee who needs to invite clients to the office. Some employees prefer to work in a telecenter rather than at home because they find the professional atmosphere conducive to effective job performance, or because their homes are not suitable for setting up a home office. There are several telecenters around the country. Some are operated by the General Services Administration (GSA), others by military reserve components, and still others by private-sector businesses. The following website has a current listing: http://www.telework.gov/.


Types of Telework

Full Time Telework: The employee completes all or almost all duties outside of a traditional office setting. This may include some work done at home, in clients' offices, or at a telecenter and occasionally coming to the office for a meeting or planning session; however, the duties lend themselves to work away from the office. This kind of work provides for the potential savings based on shared use of current space or cost avoidance for office rent that otherwise would have to be expended. This type of telework can help agencies retain valued employees such as Foreign Service or military spouses who can't remain in the geographical area of the office. This is also referred to as occupational or home-based work.

Part Time Telework: The employee teleworks on a regularly scheduled basis. This may be one or more days a week, every two weeks or several days in a month. This also may lend itself to savings in office space as part-time teleworkers can rotate and share office space.

Episodic or Situational Telework: The employee teleworks on an irregular basis. The telework opportunity may be a result of a medical problem, reasonable accommodation, or the need to be focused on a special project. Other situations may develop that makes it beneficial for the employee and supervisor to agree on an episodic telework opportunity. This type of telework also is essential for potentially volatile situations e.g., during World Bank/IMF mass demonstrations. Telework should be an integral part of any agency's plans for Continuity of Operations (COOP). Telework allows the Federal Government to remain responsive to the Nation at all times.


The History of Telework

The International Telework Association and Council (ITAC) cites 1972 as the first significant date in the history of telework. In that year, Jack Nilles became a researcher at the University of Southern California, focusing on the telecommunications-transportation tradeoff after teleworking as a consulting rocket scientist in the U.S. Air Force Space Program in the early 1960s. As a result of his highly influential research, publications and other professional activities, he is known as the "Father of Telecommuting/Telework."

Promotion of telework in the Federal Government began in January 1990 when the President's Council on Management Improvement approved guidelines for a one-year Federal Flexible Workplace Pilot Project. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) implemented the pilot on October 1, 1990, to determine whether flexible workplace arrangements could assist OPM in recruiting, motivating and retaining workers while reducing costs associated with sick leave, space usage, and transportation. The pilot project was successful. Telework arrangements worked well and provided significant benefits when implemented with employees who were proven performers.

On July 11, 1994, a Presidential directive called on each Executive department and agency to "establish a program to encourage and support the expansion of flexible family-friendly work arrangements including…telecommuting and satellite work locations." In 1996, the President's Management Council endorsed a National Telecommuting Initiative led by the U.S. Department of Transportation and GSA. Their mission was to increase the use of telework by all American employers, both private and public. Between 1995 and 1997, the number of people teleworking grew by 3 million.

In a June 21, 1996, Presidential Memorandum, Executive departments and agencies were directed to "review their personnel practices and develop a plan of action to utilize the flexible policies already in place and, to the extent feasible, expand their ability to provide their employees…opportunities to telecommute." Finally, in October 2000, Public Law 106-346, Section 359 and the accompanying Conference Report established the mandate for Federal agencies to establish policies for implementing telework opportunities and dramatically increase their numbers of teleworkers.


The Business Case for Telework

Telework has a long history as a proven program providing benefits for both employer and employee. Research shows that telework improves the quality of work/life and job performance, i.e., reduces office overcrowding and provides a distraction-free environment for reading, thinking, and writing. Studies have also found an improvement in retention, leave usage, and productivity. ITAC conducted a study and found that telework reduced turnover by an average of 20 percent, boosted productivity by up to 22 percent, and trimmed absenteeism by 60 percent. Additionally, it allowed companies to adhere more closely to the Clean Air Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Other studies produced similar findings.

An October 1999 study by Telework America showed that employees who telework can save their agencies up to $10,000 per year in reduced absenteeism and retention costs. A study by the American Management Association found that the absenteeism costs were reduced by 63 percent, an average of $2,000 saved for every employee. The State of Arizona evaluated their telework program and found senior managers identified increased efficiency, greater productivity, and enhanced employee morale as the biggest program benefits. Many Federal agencies with long-standing telework programs have found a decrease in the need for office space. These factors all impact the cost of doing business. AT&T estimates its telework program saves them $25 million annually in real estate expenses. For employees, cost savings from reduced commuting as well as improved morale and work productivity were identified as benefits.

As more and more Federal employees reach retirement age, agencies need to expand their efforts to identify, recruit, and retain well qualified personnel. Telework can open the door to Federal employment for all talented individuals who have the needed skills. For some, because of disabilities, geographical location, or family responsibilities, a daily commute may be too challenging to be practical. Teleworking also enhances agencies' abilities to recruit and retain employees who simply prefer to reduce commuting time because they would prefer to spend the time in family and community activities. Younger workers, who seem to value work/life balance even more than older generations of workers, are especially likely to find this flexibility appealing. Well qualified individuals who live in distant suburbs might find Federal employment attractive if they were not required to commute to the city on a daily basis.


Telework for People with Disabilities

President George W. Bush, introducing his New Freedom Initiative on February 1, 2001, stated, "I am committed to tearing down the remaining barriers to equality that face Americans with disabilities." People with disabilities are a valuable employment pool for Federal jobs. With new assistive technologies available, an increasing number of people with disabilities are now well qualified to perform Federal work, but they may have great difficulty commuting to a Federal office building. The person may lack the physical strength or mobility necessary for a commute via public transportation, or may not, because of vision requirements, be eligible for a driver's license.

A U.S. Department of Labor study published in 2000 also identified employment of persons with disabilities as a societal benefit resulting from telework arrangements. Further, it noted that, despite the strong economy, millions of residents in urban and isolated rural and Native American communities remained unemployed. The study suggested that telework could improve the employability of all of these groups. It also reported that telework is extremely useful in decreasing traffic congestion and air pollution.

In addition to providing job opportunities for those who already have disabilities, telework allows people who have partially recovered from injuries and/or illnesses to return to work more quickly because they can perform their duties at off-site locations. Additionally, it is a work arrangement that supports employees who have temporary or continuing health problems or who might otherwise have to retire on disability.


Benefits to Society

An increase in telework arrangements can decrease costs for road construction and public transportation if a requisite number of personnel telework. Cyclical energy shortage problems could be ameliorated. Decreased costs for fuel and transportation, as well as heating and air conditioning office space, would provide significant savings.

Nationwide, concerns about traffic congestion and its impact on limited energy sources and limited transportation resources are escalating. Traffic congestion and long commutes detract from efforts to improve recruitment and retention of Federal employees.

In order to effectively address some of the above challenges and to enhance the Federal telework program, Congress mandated that Federal agencies step up their efforts to expand telework (Public Law 106-346, Section 359). In summary, the timing is right for the growth and development of telework as an option beneficial to all.


Telework and Agency Contingency Plans

The ability to telework has been, and will continue to be, very important in times of emergency situations. Therefore, agencies should make telework part of their continuity of operations planning.

In the aftermath of the events of September 11, 2001, it has become increasingly evident that Federal agencies need to consider a full range of possibilities related to how and where their work is accomplished. Telework has proven to be an important option for efficiently accomplishing the work with the least amount of disruption. Through the use of alternative worksites such as telecenters and employees' homes, employees who were displaced because of the terrorist attacks and subsequent anthrax problems were able to continue working. Employees were able to use laptop computers, cell phones, and other technologies.

Agencies should consider telework in the event of emergencies and plan ahead for such events. They should inventory their equipment, discuss contingency plans with staff, and periodically assess their emergency procedures. Routine emergency exercises should also be held to assess the potential effectiveness of their emergency plans.


II.  Getting Started


The Telework Program Manager

It is best to appoint a committee to plan your telework program, monitor progress, and assess the need for changes and improvements that will increase your chances for success. The committee will function more effectively if one person serves as the telework program manager and manages the overall telework program. Additionally, the quality of your program will be improved, as this person can ensure you meet all reporting requirements, track agency efforts to promote telework, and serve as a champion for telework.


The Committee

The first action for the telework program manager is to establish a planning committee composed of agency stakeholders. Possible members include representatives from human resources, including employee relations, staffing, labor-relations, EEO, and work/life; legal; information technology; management; and labor organizations. Employees should also be included. This group can help establish program goals, objectives, written policies, and procedures. It is important to quantify goals and objectives at the beginning of the program. This will be helpful when you conduct your program evaluation. The committee will also develop an implementation plan and schedule with milestones.

The committee needs to address a wide variety of issues. They need to determine the level of technological support the agency will provide to employees who telework, such as the provision of computers, printers and telephone lines, and access to agency computers from remote sites and the Internet. They need to address the acquisition, maintenance, and repair of any equipment provided. Issues surrounding equipment and data security must also be resolved.

The committee may recommend surveying the workforce to measure the level of interest in telework, identify perceived impediments to telework arrangements, and solicit suggestions to enhance the success of the program. Additionally, the committee should develop marketing and implementation plans. Research has shown training is key to the success of telework. The committee should determine what training will be provided and how to make certain everyone receives the information they need to improve the chances for success.

The group should provide an initial program budget recommendation and make appropriate changes as the planning proceeds and the scope of the program is determined. It is critical that the budget be linked to the telework program goals and objectives. For example, if a program goal is to decrease staff turnover, a study to identify the impact of telework on retention would be appropriate. Any costs associated with the study would be tied to this goal.

While the committee has significant responsibility in many areas, its major tasks are the establishment of three important elements of the program: the policy, training plan, and evaluation plan.


The Policy

Good communication is the essential element of a successful telework program. All of the participants need to know what the guidelines and expectations are and who is in charge of the various aspects of the program. Written policies and procedures are needed to ensure understanding and avoid misunderstanding about the terms and conditions of telework. Policies should cover short term as well as continuing telework arrangements.

A review of the current policies of other agencies will give you an idea of what should be included in your policy. Your policy should outline your goals and objectives, as well as the benefits to your organization and to employees. Program parameters should be defined, including the positions or aspects of positions that are appropriate for telework. You will need to determine what forms or documentation you need for employees to submit, such as a telework contract/agreement and a form for borrowing equipment. A copy of an assessment tool that can be used by both employees and supervisors to measure their potential for success with telework should be included.

You also need to identify the points of contact for all issues pertaining to telework, including personnel and information technology. Determine what the plan is for contacting these people if assistance is needed and whether the employee contacts them directly or contacts the supervisor.

You must define the official duty station. Changing an employee's duty station may affect the employee's pay rate and travel benefits. Agencies must make official duty station determinations consistent with the law and OPM regulations and guidance.

The issue of core hours must be addressed and outlined in the telework policy. Address the following questions: Are there core hours that a teleworker must work? Are these hours consistent with the core hours for a non-teleworker? If not, why not? Are there core days when all employees must work in the office? What is the process if a teleworker needs assistance from office staff?

A policy should include the following elements:

  • General policy statement with program definitions
  • Program goals and objectives
  • Explanation of the process for program participation
  • Review of program benefits
  • Identification of positions or aspects of positions appropriate or not appropriate for a telework arrangement
  • Review of time, pay and attendance issues (core hours, days, duty station, leave, etc.
  • Assessment tool to determine potential for telework
  • Sample agreement to be completed by the employee and supervisor
  • Supervisory checklist
  • Home safety checklist
  • List of possible logistical support items available from the agency, with necessary forms
  • List of telecenters and the procedures for using a telecenter


The Training Plan

Training should be provided for managers and supervisors as well as employees. It should focus on program goals and objectives. For managers and supervisors, clearly address the business case for the agency plan to integrate telework as a workplace flexibility. Telework typically involves a cultural change and the training should address this issue and its effect on the total work environment.

Review telework policy, procedures, and techniques for managing remote workers. Address issues surrounding work planning and scheduling. Most importantly, present typical barriers to telework and discuss possible solutions. Emphasize the importance of good communication as this will be key to the success of a telework program. If you are conducting in-person training, encourage participation by attendees and make certain you allow a significant period of time for questions and answers.

For employees, make it clear that their ability to accomplish the workload and minimize obstacles is essential to succeeding in the program. Describe good communication and work planning techniques. Employees will need to communicate effectively with their supervisor and their coworkers as well as organize their telework time effectively. Give an introduction to the program, review success strategies, and focus on getting an effective program started. Do a step-by-step review of the program and its requirements. Several slide training programs available through OPM and the website, www.telework.gov, provide a wealth of training material. You can adapt these to meet your specific agency needs. (See Appendix B)


Evaluating the Agency Program

Key issues for evaluation for most agencies include the effect of telework on productivity, operating costs, employee morale, recruitment, and retention. External issues, such as the impact of telework on traffic flow, air pollution, and mass transit use, are also important, but are more likely to be evaluated in a community effort through a consortium of interested organizations than by the organization.

It is essential that you create an evaluation plan before beginning a telework program. If you do not build evaluation into your plan from the beginning, you are missing a critical opportunity to measure the success of your program. This plan should be based on quantifiable program goals and objectives to allow for ease of measurement.

There are several measurement strategies that you might include in your evaluation plan. First, you can compare teleworkers and non-teleworkers on selected measures at one point in time. Second, you can conduct pre- and post- measurements on the teleworkers alone, conducting selected measurements before they begin teleworking and at regular points afterward. To be thorough, you might choose to use both approaches at once, measuring both teleworkers and non-teleworkers before and after the teleworkers have begun to telework. In this way, you will have a degree of control over extraneous factors that might affect your results. Comparing the teleworkers and non-teleworkers can help you refine your findings.

Many specific measures can be used to assess the impact of teleworking. To evaluate productivity, you might want to measure average scores on performance appraisals. It is also very useful to identify quantifiable tasks and determine how many of these can be accomplished in an office setting and how many can be accomplished in a telework setting over the course of a day, or other appropriate time period. For example, an employee may typically complete four reports per day in the office; however, the employee may be able to complete six reports per day in the telework setting. Another example is that it may take an employee two weeks to write the office newsletter when working in the office, but only one week in the telework setting because of fewer interruptions. You may wish to measure the effectiveness of the telework arrangement by surveying co-workers. These surveys can measure their perceptions of how well the telework arrangement is working.

There are many ways to measure the impact of telework on operating costs. You may want to measure sick leave usage, workers' compensation costs, emergency leave requests, and/ or transit subsidy expenses. In addition to these measures on individual employees, anecdotal data may also be helpful. You may find that with work efficiencies created through telework, an office does not need to fill a vacant position, or you may need less space. In evaluating the costs of teleworking, allow sufficient time for implementation before studying costs. In the initial months of telework, there are typically increased costs for logistical support. After a sufficient period of program implementation, costs savings are often noted.

To evaluate morale, recruitment, and retention, you can use several measurement techniques, including focus groups, questionnaires, and surveys. For example, you can ask employees to rate their degree of satisfaction with their working conditions, productivity, etc. You can ask how important various factors are in their decision to stay with the agency. You may want to survey all of your employees about what led them to choose their jobs and stay with them. You may want to focus on new hires, placing a small survey in the packet they are issued at their new employees' orientation and asking what role various benefits and flexibilities may have played in their decision to choose the agency.

In addition to looking at overall morale and retention, it is important to measure specific aspects of satisfaction with telework. As in measuring costs, it is important to take enough time, asking the same questions at several points in time, such as three months, six months, etc. One approach is to develop a small survey asking employees how they believe telework will benefit them. After six months, you can ask them to look at the initial survey and identify if they did or did not experience these benefits. An example of such an employee survey can be found in Appendix E. Appendix F is a similar survey for supervisors.


III.  Overcoming Supervisory Challenges


Employee Suitability and Selecting Employees

One of the major challenges for supervisors is determining who is a candidate for telework. As a starting point, you, the supervisor, should view all positions and employees as eligible for telework. As a supervisor, it is important that you make good decisions about which employees have potential as teleworkers. Sometimes it is difficult to discuss this with an employee. You may anticipate that an interested employee is not really a good candidate for a telework situation. You may be concerned that if you let one person telework, all of your employees will want to telework. You may worry about control of the workforce and workload. These are legitimate concerns. Remember that you decide whether a position and an employee are appropriate for telework. To assist you in your decision, we suggest you use an employee screening tool such as the telework assessment tool in Appendix G. Employees who telework must be very well organized and have effective communication skills.


The Decision Process

The decision process may be made easier by using a screening tool that both employee and supervisor complete and then use as a basis for discussion. The value of a screening tool for the employee is that it can help the employee understand why he or she may not be a suitable candidate in a particular job for telework. Screening tools also provide a common source of information that can be used to generate a positive discussion between employees and their supervisors. The tool provided in Appendix G allows you to rate an employee on characteristics that lead to success in telework and then discuss the results with them. The ability for the employee to be flexible, be a self-starter, and enjoy the solitude of working at home should be discussed.

If you determine that an employee can adjust to a telework situation, approval should be given. If you have concerns, they need to be clearly articulated. If they are significant enough that you cannot approve the employee's request to telework, develop a plan with goals the employee must meet in order to be considered for a telework arrangement at a later time.

As a supervisor, your decision process will be driven by your agency's policy and the stipulations it makes for employees considered appropriate for telework, as well as your own assessment. It is important to be consistent in making your decisions.


Position Suitability

Initially, a particular position may not appear to be compatible with a telework arrangement; however, if the position is broken down into individual tasks, you may be able to identify tasks that could be accomplished in a telework setting. Work suitability depends on job content, rather than job title, type of appointment, or work schedule.

Telework is feasible for (1) work that requires thinking and writing, such as data analysis, reviewing grants or cases, and writing regulations, decisions, or reports; (2) telephone-intensive tasks, such as setting up a conference, obtaining information, and contacting customers; and (3) computer-oriented tasks, such as programming, data entry, and word processing. Positions included in a Government-wide project on telework conducted in 1990 included writer/editor, scientist, investigator, psychologist, environmental engineer, budget analyst, tax examiner, and computer scientist.

Some work may not be suitable for teleworking. This is the case for jobs that require the employee's physical presence on the job. It is also true for jobs in which the employees need to have extensive face-to-face contact with their supervisor, other employees, clients, or the public. Positions that require access to material that cannot be moved from the regular office may not be suitable for telework. Also, there may be security issues that prevent the work from being accomplished at an alternative worksite.

Your challenge as a supervisor is to consider each position thoroughly and determine whether there is any potential to create a telework opportunity. The telework frequently might be for one day a week, or one day every two weeks. What is critical is that any position is not automatically ruled out as telework-suitable.


IV.  The Supervisor's Role in Making It Happen


In Chapter 3, we reviewed the role of the supervisor in selecting candidates for telework opportunities. This is one aspect of your responsibility as a supervisor in making telework a success. You might feel somewhat overwhelmed initially with the changes and challenges that you face. If you approach this in a gradual fashion, giving yourself time to work through new issues, success is very likely. Interestingly, not all employees really want to telework. Many recognize their inability to work in a non-structured environment. Others express concerns about social isolation. If you ask employees why they are not interested, typically they will identify a concern or shortcoming in one of the factors included in the telework assessment (Appendix G).


Helping Employees Change

When initiating a telework arrangement, you need to help your employees adapt to this culture change in the beginning stages of implementation. This can be accomplished by sharing information and ensuring that employees receive training so they become familiar with some of the typical telework challenges and solutions. Your agency should provide you with step-by-step guidance in the implementation process, including necessary training materials and forms.

You need to make certain your staff has an opportunity to review this material and raise issues before they come to a decision about whether or not they want to be considered as telework candidates. Once they make that decision and you review the assessment survey with them, a determination can be made about whether or not they should begin to telework.


The Telework Agreement

Your agency should provide you with its recommended telework agreement between supervisor and employee. This agreement should be written so everyone has a clear understanding of the program parameters (see Appendix H). It needs to identify the work products that will be completed during the telework arrangement with expected delivery dates for each product. If status reports on projects are required, they should be stipulated in the agreement. The telework time schedule should be clearly noted, including core days and hours, and the telework site should be identified.

Review the list of items your agency is willing to provide for the employee and determine which ones the employee will need. These may include additional phone lines, office connectivity, a computer, software, and a printer. It is best if these are written out and the employee can select from the list. It is also beneficial if safety guidelines (see Appendix J) are attached to the agreement. It is essential to review each of these documents with the employee and make certain both employee and supervisor agree on the contents.


Maintaining Balance in the Office

It is important to address issues of concern expressed by employees who do not telework. There may be issues regarding fairness and equity in work assignments and ensuring that office personnel are not expected to undertake all new tasks that arise during the course of the day. Teleworkers may fear being forgotten or overlooked for choice assignments, training opportunities, or promotions. These issues should be discussed as frequently as necessary at staff meetings with everyone in attendance.

The use of group email notifications is important since they minimize the risk that someone will be left out of the communication loop. Obviously supervisors need to ensure adequate office coverage at all times. A computer-based schedule for all employees to input scheduled events, leave, telework days, etc., can be most useful. It will give everyone access to a master schedule and help make certain office coverage is in place. Meetings should be held on the core day when everyone is in the office. The supervisor's challenge is to ensure balance between the needs and desires of employees who telework and those who do not.

As the supervisor, you must clearly articulate the rules for use of leave and the leave approval process. Teleworkers are expected to adhere to the same policies and procedures as non-teleworkers, including those that address overtime.

The supervisor's roles are teacher, coach, and mentor. They provide guidance and reassurance and make certain communication channels are open. They also have the responsibility of periodically reviewing the status of staff members and making certain they are meeting their performance standards. If necessary, they provide guidance for improving performance. Supervisors should make certain that the entire staff has the computer skills necessary to telework. Ultimately, they determine if a teleworker is complying with policy and procedures and should terminate the process if the teleworker is not doing so.

The result should be a positive work environment for everyone. Supervisors should also expect to see benefits such as decreased use of sick leave, decreased unscheduled annual leave, a decrease in workers' compensation cases, and improved morale.


V.  Performance Appraisal


How Will Performance Appraisal be Different?

There should be no discernable difference between managing the performance of a teleworker and managing the employee who works at the main office. The processes for managing the performance of all employees should include:

  • planning work and setting expectations,
  • monitoring performance,
  • developing employee skills,
  • appraising performance, and
  • recognizing employees for their accomplishments.

A good supervisor who successfully does these things should have little problem managing teleworkers. Supervisors who do not have good performance management skills will probably be unsuccessful at managing teleworker performance and are probably already unsuccessful at managing employees in general. A telework environment puts the spotlight on the performance management skills of supervisors.


Planning Work and Setting Expectations

Supervisors should use the performance appraisal process and the employee's performance plan to plan work and set expectations. Supervisors and employees should clearly define what the employee is to accomplish and ensure that the performance elements in the employee's performance plan align with and support organizational goals. We recommend that at least part of an employee's performance plan focus on results, such as accomplishments, products, or services provided. Results are especially important to measure for teleworkers since it may be hard for supervisors to observe activities, behaviors, or demonstrated competencies. Performance plans also should include performance standards that are measurable, observable, or at least verifiable. If employees know what they are supposed to do, and how well they are supposed to do it, the supervisor has set the stage for successful performance - whether the employee works inside or outside the office.


Monitoring Performance

Monitoring performance includes measuring performance and providing feedback. In a telework situation (as in any work situation), measuring the results of employee efforts rather than their activities can be more efficient and effective. Quantity, quality, timeliness, and cost-effectiveness are four general measures that supervisors should review. Once supervisors and employees establish performance measures, communicating performance on those measures should be frequent. Employees need feedback on their performance in order to maintain good performance and to improve overall. Because teleworkers are not close at hand to receive quick, informal feedback, supervisors will need to make conscious efforts to give feedback using methods in addition to face-to-face feedback, such as emails, phone calls and faxes.

In addition to supervisors providing feedback, employees need to keep supervisors informed about work progress. This is especially true for teleworkers. Good communications between supervisors and employees are essential for successfully completing work and are especially necessary in a telework environment.


Developing Employee Skills

By using appropriate screening methods as discussed in Chapter 3, employees should already have the skills they need in order to telework successfully. But, as with all other employees, supervisors need to be aware of employee training and developmental needs. Supervisors should compare employee performance to the expectations established in employee performance plans and analyze which developmental opportunities the employee needs to perform successfully or to exceed expectations. In particular, teleworkers and their supervisors should be alert to training and developmental opportunities that work well in teleworking environments, such as distance training or self-study training.


Appraising Performance

Almost all employees must be appraised, generally annually. Supervisors should appraise all employees' performance against the elements and standards established in employee performance plans. If the elements and standards are measurable, observable, or verifiable, and if they focus on accomplishments rather than activities, the supervisor will find it easier to appraise employee performance, especially in a telework environment.


Recognizing Performance

Particularly in situations where teleworking employees work off-site most of the time, supervisors need to take care that these employees still feel they are part of the office. Maintaining good communications is one important way to do this. Another way is to ensure that supervisors recognize the good performance of these teleworkers. Supervisors should not let teleworkers feel as if their performance doesn't matter or that no one ever notices their achievements. All employees want to feel that their work is appreciated. Recognition should always be part of the supervisor's performance management tool bag. Maintaining performance levels and meeting improvement goals is a requirement defined in telework agreements. To ensure this requirement is met, supervisors and employees must work together. Supervisors must practice top-notch performance management skills. Teleworkers must be responsible for keeping supervisors informed of the status of products or services.

Finally, managers should discuss the impact of telework arrangements with the entire staff and should make certain that management addresses relevant concerns immediately. If the work unit is not accomplishing the work as expected, managers may need to make adjustments in telework arrangements. The decision to approve telework is a management decision.


VI.  Conclusions


The U.S. Office of Personnel Management is committed to providing agencies, managers, supervisors, and employees with current guidance and support to facilitate the use of telework in the Federal sector. Attention to several key factors will lead to success.

Strong leadership on the issue of telework is essential. Federal policy makers, managers, supervisors, employees, and employee representatives must work together and invest their efforts in the success of this program.

Communication is critical. It must be clear, frequent, and positive among all parties. Flexibility is essential to achieve success in telework arrangements. There are often initial roadblocks and challenges to be overcome. As with any new idea or concept, success comes if the challenges are met.

We have provided you with guidance on the essential elements of the telework arrangement. We remain available to assist you in your planning, implementation, and continuing efforts to expand telework in the Federal Government.

Appendix A
OPM Letters In Support Of Telework

OPM Office of the Director Letterhead




Jan 30 2002


I am pleased to present the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM's) findings on the status of telework within the Federal Government. In compiling this report, we surveyed Federal agencies in April 2001 and again in November to determine their progress in meeting the requirements of Public Law 106-346, section 359. This law requires each Executive agency to establish policies to permit eligible employees to telework to the maximum extent possible without diminished employee performance.

In our November survey, agencies reported a total of 74,487 Federal employees teleworking, a 39.5 percent increase in the seven months since our earlier survey. OPM has been and remains strongly committed to telework. This report describes our ongoing efforts to help agencies increase the number of Federal teleworkers, and notes that much work remains to be done, despite considerable progress.




spacerKay Cole James' signature


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OPM Office of the Director Letterhead




Nov 06 2002




Kay Cole James' signature



Agency Telework Survey


This memorandum transmits the fiscal year 2002 telework survey. Section 359 of Public Law 106-346 requires each Executive agency to establish a policy under which eligible employees may participate in telework to the maximum extent possible without diminished employee performance. The goal of the legislation is that by the year 2004, 100 percent of employees who are eligible to telework have the opportunity to do so. In order to track the progress agencies are making toward that goal, we are issuing a survey to capture the most current data. The November 2001 survey showed that the number of teleworkers increased nearly 40 percent from the survey of April 2001. While the increase in participation is noteworthy it revealed that only 4.2 percent of the Federal workforce is teleworking.

The human capital challenges we face require that we utilize all available tools to meet performance goals. Telework is increasingly recognized as an effective human capital management tool with a proven track record of increasing employee productivity, attracting and retaining high performers, and helping employees balance competing work and family obligations. Our visits to agencies reveal that progress is being made to establish telework policies and increase participation. Yet we also find that a lack of support by middle managers and first-line supervisors is a common barrier to making significant progress and meeting the legislative mandate. To help overcome this barrier, we suggest the designation of an agency "executive telework champion" to foster a better understanding among managers and supervisors of telework's business benefits. Utilizing all available human capital tools, to include telework, can have a substantial impact on improving organizational performance. An executive, who supports telework and understands the linkage between telework and the organization's bottom line, can assist managers to overcome their concerns and increase program support and actual participation.



January 30, 2003








I am pleased to present the results of the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM's) 2002 Federal telework survey. In November 2002, OPM surveyed Federal agencies to learn the progress of implementing telework programs in compliance with section 359 of Public Law 106-346. This law requires each Executive agency to establish a policy under which eligible employees may participate in telework to the maximum extent possible without diminished employee performance.

For the second year in a row, Federal agencies report an increase in the number of employees who telework. There is a gain of21 percent in the number of Federal employees who telework and a 20 percent increase in those eligible. As of2002, 68.5% of the total eligible Federal workforce has been offered the opportunity to telework. This is an increase of 18.5% over the targeted number of 50% mandated by Public Law 106-346 for 2002.

In addition, we found more agencies have developed and implemented telework policies which will enable them to expand telework in their agencies within the next year. I am encouraged by the fact that agencies report that management resistance to telework is no longer ranked as the number one barrier associated with increasing the number of teleworkers in their agencies and has moved down to number three.

Telework is a powerful tool for attracting and retaining well-qualified workers and can assist with Federal agencies' human capital management strategies. Now more than ever, telework is an invaluable management tool which not only allows employees greater flexibility to balance their personal and professional duties, but also allows both management and employees to cope with the uncertainties of potential disruptions in the workplace, including terrorist threats. The report describes OPM's ongoing efforts to help agencies increase the numbers of Federal employees who telework, but it also notes that our job is far from over. OPM remains strongly committed to telework, and we will continue our determined efforts to realize the full potential of this program.


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Appendix B
Telework Studies and Training Materials


U.S. Government Telework Site at http://www.telework.gov/

OPM Telework Study at http://www.opm.gov/studies/index.htm

GSA Telework guidance at http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/content/offerings_content.jsp?contentOID=115208&contentType=1004&PMPW=1&S503=1

Defense Logistics Agency's Telework Training for Supervisors at http://www.drms.dla.mil/telework/supervisorguide.pdf

International Telework Association and Council at http://www.workingfromanywhere.org/

Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments' Commuter Connection at http://www.mwcog.org/commuter/ccindex1.html

British Telework at http://www.teleworking-survey.co.uk/participants.html

A variety of research studies at http://www.engr.ucdavis.edu/~its/telecom/publist.html

State of Washington study at http://www.commuterchallenge.org/research.html

Department of Labor study at http://www.dol.gov/asp/telework/p1_1.htm

Net Inc. at http://www.netinc-usa.com/telework/telelink.htmJoAnn Pratt and Associates at http://www.joannepratt.com/TeleworkBibliography.htm


Appendix C
Information Technology Barriers to Telework


The General Services Administration (GSA) contracted with Booz/Allen/Hamiliton to conduct a study of home-based telework technology barriers. The study is the sixth and final report submitted as part of Booz Allen's Analysis of Technology Barriers to Home-Based Telework.

The report was finalized and released in April 2002. The study identified telework technology barriers and the results were used to propose solutions in order to make telework practical to Federal workers.

  • Purpose of this analysis: To specifically address barriers to implementation related to the information technology (IT) needed to provide teleworkers with an effective work environment in the home, and to maintain connectivity with the office.
  • The overarching finding from this analysis is that there are technology problems associated with Federal telework implementation, but that, today, no single information technology barrier is preventing or impeding telework implementation.
  • The premise used to guide the analysis was that barriers due to information technology are impacting the implementation of home-based telework programs by Federal organizations. The approach used in this analysis contained the following elements:
    • Assessment of technologies available to support home-based telework, including performance, functionality, user interface and cost issues.
    • Perspectives of Chief Information Officer and IT management in Federal organizations of potential technology barriers to home-based telework facing Federal organizations.
    • Insights from telework coordinators concerning the actual impact of technology barriers on implementation and management of telework programs.
    • Feedback from teleworkers and teleworker managers on the effect of technology barriers on overall teleworker effectiveness.
    • Review of "lessons learned" concerning information technology challenges and solutions through case studies of organizations with active telework implementation plans.



  • Organizations with established telework programs view top level commitment, communication, multi-disciplinary teams, conducting pilot programs, training and communication as critical to success.
  • Security does not appear to present an insurmountable technical barrier.
  • Access to computer equipment is not a barrier for home-based teleworkers, issues of performance, compatibility, equity, and IT support are a concern.
  • Although it is the top technology related concern, access to network services is not currently a barrier to successful telework.
  • Although not rated as a top barrier to telework overall, teleworkers' problems with technical support can present barriers to telework because they can seriously affect their performance.
  • Although telecommunications does not present a significant barrier to telework, second phone lines and payment of those lines remain as needs for teleworkers.


Recommendations are primarily directed toward management behavior concerning technology issues impacting telework implementation.

  • Senior management of teleworking organizations should take a leadership role in promoting the adoption of home-based telework to ensure sufficient support by IT and other functional organizations.
  • Information technology requirements for home-based telework should be factored into long range enterprise architecture and capital planning efforts.
  • Federal organizations should consider technologies that can better enable telework implementation.
  • Broadband residential services should be used to expand telework opportunities and improve overall quality of service.
  • Information security assessments should include potential vulnerabilities emerging from home-based telework.
  • Effective IT training should be incorporated into Federal home-based telework programs.


Appendix D
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers


1.     What does OPM mean when they say employees should be offered the opportunity to telework?

The OPM annual telework survey asks agencies to identify the numbers of employees "offered the opportunity to telework." Congressman Frank Wolf has stated, "Simply put, agencies must specifically identify positions which would be appropriate for teleworking one day each week and offer those employees the option of participating in such an arrangement." This means that supervisors should extend the option of teleworking to all employees they determine are eligible, using the established agency criteria. The burden should not be on the employee to locate agency telework policies and approach the supervisor with a request. Instead, supervisors might discuss agency telework policy at a staff meeting and invite staff members to discuss the telework opportunity, one-on-one.



2.     Who is responsible for approving an employee's request to telework?

Each Federal agency sets up its own approval process, but generally the immediate supervisor must agree to a specific employee's request.



3.     What role do unions play?

Agencies are strongly encouraged to develop their telework programs in partnership with their unions and other stakeholders. Telework affects conditions of employment and agencies must consult and negotiate with unions, as appropriate, regarding telework programs.



4.     Does an employee have a right to telework? Could an employee be forced to work at home?

No, to both questions. Subject to any applicable union agreement, management decides whether the employee can work off-site, depending on the nature of the position and the characteristics of the employee. Management has the right to end an employee's use of the telework option if, for example, the employee's performance declines or if the arrangement no longer meets the organization's needs.



5.     What about teleworking employees during emergency closures such as extreme ice and snow days? Do they still telework?

OPM policy within the Washington DC beltway is that all employees, including teleworkers, who are designated as "emergency employees"should report to or remain at work. However other teleworking employees should follow the same procedures as their non-teleworking colleagues.



6.     Can telework help an employee with child or other dependent care needs?

Telework can provide valuable assistance with dependent care. Time saved commuting to work can be spent with family members. For example, a parent may need fewer hours after school care for a school age child, or an adult child may have time to take an aging parent to the doctor. However, dependent care arrangements will not typically change because of telework, since employees should not generally be engaged in care giving activities while working. For example, children previously in a child care center during the work day should remain in the center. However, a teen-ager or elderly dependent might be at home while the employee teleworks if those dependents are independently pursuing their own activities.



7.     Won't the employee's work suffer without direct, on-site supervision?

The opposite is more often the case, partly because the employee working at home has fewer interruptions and distractions, and partly because the individual has a strong incentive to demonstrate the value of working at home.



8.     How can the supervisor monitor work performance when the employee is not physically present?

Managers can measure what the employee produces by examining the product or results of the employee's efforts. It is also helpful to use project schedules, key milestones, regular status reports, and team reviews. Supervisors may call employees who are working at home.



9.     Can teleworkers follow an alternative work schedule?

Yes. In fact, telework schedules should be sufficiently flexible to permit periodic work schedule adjustments. Initial teleworking schedules may require trial and error adjustments to determine the optimal schedule that meets the needs of the employee and the organization.



10.                        What about the impact on the office when some employees are working at an alternative worksite?

Certain guidelines must be established to minimize any adverse impact on other staff members before employees begin to work at alternative worksites. The overall interests of the office must take precedence over working at alternative sites. A supervisor may require an employee to work at the main worksite on a day scheduled for an alternative worksite if the needs of the office so require. Telework should not put a burden on staff remaining in the office. An equitable distribution of workload should be maintained, and methods should be instituted to ensure that main office employees are not saddled with a teleworker's responsibilities.



11.                        What equipment will the employee need at the home-based worksite and who will provide it?

The needed equipment and who will provide it will vary by situation. Many agencies provide equipment for home-based worksites e.g., laptops, PCs, printers, etc. Each agency must establish its own policies on the provision and installation of equipment.



12.                        Do all teleworkers work with high-tech equipment?

No. While technology can be very helpful to most teleworkers, a telephone may suffice for many



13.                        Who is responsible for maintaining and servicing Government or privately owned equipment used at the alternative worksite?

Generally, the Government will be responsible for the service and maintenance of Government-owned equipment. Teleworkers who use their own equipment are responsible for its service and maintenance.



14.                        Who pays for any increase in home utility expenses incurred by employees as a result of teleworking?

Work-at-home arrangements may increase an employee's home utility costs. Balanced against these increases are potential savings to the employee resulting from reduced commuting, childcare (during the period the employee would otherwise be commuting to and from work), meals, and clothing expenses. Potential costs and savings to the employee and the Government cannot be viewed in isolation from each other. An agency may not use appropriated funds to pay for items of personal expenses unless there is specific statutory authority.



15.                        Are business phone calls made from the home reimbursable?

An employee may be reimbursed for business-related long distance phone calls made on his or her personal phone. GSA regulations (41 CFR 101.7) provide for reimbursement on SF 1164 for telephone calls approved by the supervisor. Agencies may also provide employees with Government telephone credit cards.



16.                        Who is liable for work-related injuries and/or damages at the alternative worksite?

Government employees suffering work-related injuries and/or damages at the alternative worksite are covered under the Military Personnel and Civilian Employees Claims Act, the Federal Tort Claims Act, or the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (workers' compensation).



Appendix E
Telework Survey for Employees


Top of Form

1. When you decided to telework, what were the positive aspects that attracted you? (Check all that apply)

   Decreased commuting time

   Less frequent interruptions

   Ability to have more time at home

   Saving money

   Increased work productivity

   Decreased leave usage

   Other (Please identify)   

2. Now that you have been teleworking, please indicate if you are pleased with the results for the above aspects.

Decreased commuting time

  Yes      No

Less frequent interruptions

  Yes      No

Ability to have more time at home

  Yes      No

Saving money

  Yes      No

Increased work productivity

  Yes      No

Decreased leave usage

  Yes      No

Other (Please identify)


3. What can we do to improve the telework program?


4. Please provide responses to the following:

My quality of life has improved with telework

  Yes      No

My work productivity has improved with telework

  Yes      No

Ability to have more time at home

  Yes      No

Saving money

  Yes      No

Increased work productivity

  Yes      No

Decreased leave usage

  Yes      No

Other (Please identify)

Bottom of Form


Appendix F
Telework Survey for Supervisors



Select your answer:

1.   I supervise
more than 100 employees.


2.   Of these,
more than 100 telework.


3.   Overall, my employees who telework

Are as productive as those who don't telework.

  Yes      No

Are more productive than non-teleworkers.

  Yes      No

Are less productive than non-teleworkers.

  Yes      No

Use the same amount of leave as before teleworking.

  Yes      No

Use more leave than before teleworking.

  Yes      No

Use less leave than before teleworking.

  Yes      No

Require the same level of supervision/monitoring.

  Yes      No

Require significantly more supervision/monitoring.

  Yes      No

Require less supervision/monitoring.

  Yes      No

Have appropriate time to interact with co-workers.

  Yes      No

Avoid being assigned their share of unexpected tasks.

  Yes      No

Are more difficult to evaluate.

  Yes      No

Telework has been very expensive for my office to implement.

  Yes      No

The benefits of telework outweigh the initial costs.

  Yes      No

We could improve the telework program by


Appendix G
Telework Assessment Tool


The decision to telework should be based on the ability of an employee to work in a setting that may be in his or her home or in a telework center, without immediate supervision. The following tool is an optional form that can be used by an employee and supervisor as a basis for discussing the option of telework and the appropriateness of this for a particular employee. Both the employee and the supervisor should independently complete the assessment.

Please rate yourself or your employee, using the following scale:


5 - Always

4 - Usually

3 - Sometimes

2 - Rarely

1 - Never






1.   Employee works without regular monitoring/supervision.

2.   Employee independently identifies required work products.

3.   Employee successfully plans work production schedule.

4.   Employee communicates roadblocks to successful completion of a task or project in sufficient time to allow for alterations that improve the opportunity for success.Employee works without regular monitoring/supervision.

5.   Employee meets deadlines.

6.   Employee is computer literate.


Appendix H
Telework Agreement


Employee's Name

Date of Request:     /    /  

Employee's First Line Supervisor

Employee's Organization

I certify that my current rating of record is at least Fully Successful            Yes      No

Proposed Start Date:     /    /  

No. of Days at Alternate Worksite    

Choose Worksite:     Telecenter     Home

Address of Alternate Worksite:

Phone # of Alternate Worksite

Fax # of Alternate Worksite

Choose Days in Office:


Email of Alternate Worksite:

Work assignment, communication methods, and work reporting:

I understand that if approved this agreement is subject to all agency guidelines, rules and regulations.

Employee's Signature:

Date:     /    /  



Reason not approved (attach additional sheet if needed):

Supervisor's Signature:

Date:     /    /  

Request to Terminate Agreement

Name of individual requesting termination of agreement:

Choose One:     Supervisor     Teleworker

Reason for termination of agreement - attach additional sheet if necessary

Effective Date of Termination:     /    /  

Date of Return of Equipment:     /    /  


Appendix I
Supervisor Checklist


Supervisors can use the following checklist or a similar checklist that incorporates their agency issues to ensure that telework requirements are met and that covered employees understand the policies and procedures of the telework program. After an item is completed, write the date on the line next to it.


Guidelines, policies and procedures of the telework program have been explained to the employee.


The employee's most recent performance appraisal rating is "Fully Successful" or better.


The provisions governing premium pay have been explained to the employee, including that he/she must receive supervisory approval in advance of working overtime.


Performance expectations have been discussed with the employee. Standards are in place and have been agreed to.


Policies and procedures covering classified, secure and privacy data have been explained to the employee.


The employee has been given safety guidelines which identify safety and adequacy issues that the employee needs to consider.


Equipment issued to the employee has been documented. Equipment provided is noted below.



Appendix J
Safety Guidelines for the Home Work Space


Participating employees may use the following guidelines to assist them in a survey of the overall safety and adequacy of their alternate worksite. The following are only recommendations, and do not encompass every situation that may be encountered. Employees are encouraged to obtain professional assistance with issues concerning appropriate electrical service and circuit capacity for residential worksites.

1. Develop and practice a fire evacuation plan for use in the event of an emergency.

2. Check your smoke detectors regularly and replace batteries once a year.

3. Always have a working fire extinguisher conveniently located in your home, and check the charge regularly.

4. Computers are heavy. Always place them on sturdy, level, well maintained furniture.

5. Choose office chairs that provide good supporting backrests and allow adjustments to fit you comfortably.

6. Locate your computer to eliminate noticeable glare from windows and lighting. Place the computer monitor at a height which is comfortable and does not produce neck or back strain. Locate computer keyboards at heights that do not cause wrist strain or place the keyboard on an adjustable surface.

7. Install sufficient lighting in locations to reduce glare on the work surface.

8. Arrange file cabinets so that opened drawers do not block aisles.

9. Be sure to leave aisle space, where possible, to reduce tripping hazards.

10. Always make sure electrical equipment is connected to grounded outlets.

11. Avoid fire hazards by never overloading electrical circuits.

12. Inspect and repair carpeting with frayed edges or loose seams. Avoid using throw rugs that can cause tripping hazards in your workspace.

13. Locate computers, phones, and other electrical equipment in a manner that keeps power cords out of walkways.

14. Always power down computers after the workday is over and always turn off all electrical equipment during thunderstorms.

15. Keep your work area clean and avoid clutter which can cause fire and tripping hazards.

16. Do not allow non-Government employees to operate or repair Government-owned equipment.

17. Always keep Government files and information in a secure place and do not advertise your home office to strangers.

18. Always use proper lifting techniques when moving or lifting heavy equipment and furniture.

19. Always report accidents and injuries immediately to your supervisor.