The Department of the Air Force recently released updated guidance concerning the use of telework and remote work for all civilian employees and service members worldwide, to include active duty, Guard and Reserve Airmen and active duty Guardians.
The DAF guidance memorandum, DoDI1035.01_DAFI 36-816 Telework Program, provides necessary clarification and expands the Department’s use of telework and remote work based on current lessons learned, pending a comprehensive review of the Department of the Air Force telework program.
“The Department of the Air Force is using lessons learned about teleworking and remote work during the pandemic as an opportunity to grow,” said John Fedrigo, acting assistant secretary of the Air Force for manpower and reserve affairs. “The pandemic has shown we can be successful using telework in many areas of our mission, and it helps to bridge our current force structure to the force we need for the future.”
Position eligibility is determined by the squadron commander, or equivalent, with input from supervisors. Commanders, or equivalent, will consider the nature of the work performed, and assess whether permitting telework or remote work would diminish the ability to perform successfully or negatively impact the mission. Even if a specific position is determined ineligible for telework or remote work, there may be circumstances when the Airman/Guardian in this position may be considered for telework on an emergency or situational basis.
“Telework and remote work provides additional tools and options to help us recruit and retain the right talent to compete in the high-end future fight,” said Lt. Gen. Brian Kelly, Air Force deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services. “With remote work, we can now attract someone with the specialized skills we need and not require them to relocate when it makes sense for the mission, the individual and a member’s development. We recognize the value these flexible work arrangements can have, in some circumstances, to enhance work-life balance and maximize organizational productivity.”
The duties and tasks of staff positions are generally more suited for full-time telework and remote work.
“Although not everyone will be a candidate for tele and remote work, allowing this flexibility to those who are makes it easier to serve,” Kelly said.
Remote work differs from telework in that it is a permanent arrangement in which employees perform official duties at an approved alternative location, but not necessarily in the vicinity of the unit to which they are assigned. For civilians, this location may be in or outside of the local commuting area of the regular worksite, but they aren’t required to report to the regular worksite on any frequent, regular or recurring basis. For service members approved to work remotely, they will perform work in an operating location that is geographically separated from their assigned unit. Arrangements would be made to gain support from the closest installation.
The updated guidance also outlines conditions for designation of an official worksite, equipment and office supplies, emergency situations, work schedules and compensation, time and attendance, telework training, performance management, and telework and remote work denial and termination.
For more information, see the DAF Telework and Remote Work Guide [https://www.af.mil/Portals/1/documents/2021SAF/05_May/Telework_and_Remote_Work_Guide_14_May_2021.pdf] or reference the DAF guidance memorandum.