Telework Cuts Would Have ‘Harmful and Irreversible” Impact

Pregnant woman working at home

A survey of Department of Health and Human Services employees reveals over 80% of those polled said decreasing or jettisoning telework would contribute to their decision to leave the agency. 

Conducted by the National Treasury Employees Union, the survey set out to explore the effect of telework cuts at federal agencies. In total, 1,600 employees across multiple HHS operating divisions were polled.

Among the findings: Over half of those polled said slashing telework would make their commute longer and more expensive. It would also make them less productive. Respondents also worried there wouldn’t be enough work stations at their offices without telework.

In a July 15 letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar, NTEU said the survey results show “harmful and irreversible” consequences of telework cuts. The union implored Azar to reconsider the decision to curtail or kibosh telework for thousands of HHS employees nationwide. 

NTEU included some quotes from respondents highly critical of the decision to gut telework. One said he or she would “immediately” start job hunting if telework was no longer an option. Another respondent said, “if [telework] goes away, so will I.”  

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