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Telework Survey

Thursday, November 1, 2001
MSG 2001-095a
Heads Of Executive Departments And Agencies
Teresa M. Jenkins, Director, Office of Workforce Relations
Telework Survey

OPM conducted an initial survey of Federal agencies in April of this year establishing a baseline for numbers of teleworkers and the status of agency telework program and policy development as they began to address the telework mandate encompassed in Public Law 106-346.

Response to our April survey was outstanding. Ninety-four of 97 agencies responded. The April survey found that 2.6 percent of the agencies' total workforce telework at least 52 days per year. Although still very low, the rate represented an approximate doubling from 1.4 percent in 1998. Our April survey also indicated that significant policy changes and policy development were being pursued at the time to expand eligibility and increase the number of teleworkers. I am attaching an outline of the survey's findings for your information.

Public Law 106-346 and associated conference report language requires OPM to provide a formal Report to Congress on the status of telework in the Federal government, due on January 1, 2002. In order to meet the Act's reporting requirement and to assure that the results of agencies' policy development activities are captured and the most current data is provided, we are conducting a follow-up telework survey at this time.

Please distribute the attached survey to appropriate staff within your agency for completion. We are transmitting this memorandum and the survey electronically and will follow up with hard copy versions. We ask that responses be transmitted via email by Monday, December 3, 2001 to Questions with regard to the survey may be addressed to Paula Lucak at the same email address.

Thank you for your attention and cooperation.

OPM April 2001 Survey - Findings
OPM Survey Reporting Form Agency Telework and AWS Practices


Distribution and Responses

  • The OPM survey was sent to 97 agencies in March 2001.
  • 94 agencies with a total workforce of 1,758, 437 employees responded to the survey.

Agency Telework Policies

  • 76 agencies with a total workforce of 1, 745, 013 employees reported having telework policies in place.
  • Majority of agency policies (57 versus 19) cover all employees.
  • Significant policy changes and policy development were being pursued at the time of the survey to expand eligibility and increase the number of teleworkers.

Number of Teleworkers

  • The 94 responding agencies reported 45,300 employees teleworking at least 52 days per year.
  • This number represents 2.6 percent of total employees in the 94 responding agencies.
  • The rate is nearly double the 1.4 percent OPM found in a 1998 survey.
  • Agency narratives and follow-up discussions suggested a number of factors indicating the reported data reflect an undercount of actual practice.
  • Data collection was significantly hampered, since there are no requirements or mechanisms in place for reporting telework using personnel and payroll systems, as is the case with Alternative Work Schedules (AWS).
  • Some agencies reported having teleworkers but did not provide estimates of their numbers.
  • The number of employees teleworking less than 52 days per year was not specifically asked for, but 14 agencies voluntarily provided that information, suggesting a potentially widespread practice that may well have been missed by the survey. The 14 agencies reported 8,091 employees teleworking less than 52 days per year.


  • Agencies reported the following barriers, in order of how frequently they were reported:
    • managerial concerns about maintaining performance and productivity
    • funding for equipment and services at the remote site or costs for telecenters
    • fairness to all employees
    • security relative to classified documents
    • employee concerns related to feeling isolated from colleagues
    • electronic connectivity to the office.


As of October 1, 2001

Agency Name

Agency Contact Information



    Phone #:


1. Total Number of Employees in Agency:

2. Total Number of Employees Eligible to Telework :

3. Total Number of Employees Teleworking:

    Regular/Regularly Scheduled



    Other (specify)

3(a). Number Teleworking within the Washington, D.C. Metro Area

3(b). Number Teleworking outside the Washington D.C. Metro Area

4. Form of Telework Policy (check all that apply):

    Written (handbook, memorandum, letter, etc.)

5. Scope of Telework Policy (check all that apply):

    Agency wide

6. Does your agency policy allow the following categories of employees to telework? (check all that apply):





    Employees on AWS

    Other (specify)

7. Types of Telework Arrangements Permitted by Agency Policy (check all that apply):

    Regular/Regularly Scheduled



8. Number of Employees on an Alternative Work Schedule

9. Number of Employees on a Compressed Work Schedule

10. What actions has your agency taken to increase telework participants since our April 2001 survey?

11. What actions has your agency taken to overcome barriers that were identified in our April 2001 survey to increase telework participation?