Propelled by the COVID-19 pandemic, remote and telework are here to stay for many businesses, private companies, and the Department of Defense; including the Air Force Test Center.
The AFTC personnel directorate released a center-wide telework supplement and one-stop SharePoint site with useful resources on Jan. 25. The new site provides key telework information specific to AFTC in one location, as well as general telework resources.
“Telework is transforming the most important resource we have in AFTC — our people,” said Dr. Eileen Bjorkman, AFTC Executive Director. “We’re already seeing huge benefits, from better work-life balance to our ability to recruit and retain a more diverse workforce.”
The AFTC Telework Supplement expands upon the existing DAF Telework and Remote Work Guide and the Air Force Materiel Command supplement.
“The AFTC Supplement incorporates specific aspects pertaining to our Center, to include telework processes and procedures, reference to available telework related templates, additional telework questions and answers, and contact information for our respective Wings and headquarters staff for telework inquiries,” said Tiffany Music, AFTC Human Resource Specialist.
These resources drive to build a culture that supports and facilitates effective telework and remote work arrangements. The deliberate effort of AFTC will create a supportive culture that values transparency, communication, trust, use of technology, and results-oriented performance management.
AFTC embraced remote and telework as a Center to better retain high-performing employees who are not located near Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
“At the Enterprise level we’ve been able to attract some real superstars to AFTC because we could offer remote telework,” said David Eisenstadt, AFTC Director of Personnel. “Two of our Headquarters Directors, Col. Karl Seekamp, AFTC Chief of Safety, and Benjamin Coffey, AFTC Director Engineering, are both remotely teleworking from the Emerald Coast in Florida.”
Full-time local and remote telework options require AFTC Executive Director approval, and AFTC has already approved 37 of its employees remotely teleworking.
The guide outlines factors for commanders and supervisors to consider before approving tele/remote work. It also outlines how remote work can be used for a variety of important business reasons.
“We’ll also save money in the long run, both from a smaller office space footprint and from reduced locality pay as people work from areas with a lower cost of living. And at least some of those savings could be plowed back into quality-of-life investments for the part of the workforce that can’t telework. So everyone wins,” said Bjorkman.
The full AFTC Telework and Remote Work Supplement, as well as a comprehensive list of telework resources for employees, are available for internal audiences to view at https://usaf.dps.mil/sites/21396/2ltr/DP/SitePages/Telework.aspx.