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Workplace Flexibilities

As agencies begin to welcome employees back to the physical workplace, managers should consider utilizing various workplace flexibilities to maintain productivity, health, and safety of the workforce. When combined with telework, workplace flexibilities can provide agencies with the options to maintain safe and social distance between employees in the workplace by reducing the percentage of employees who are in the office at a given time. Workplace flexibilities can also assist employees in maintaining a work/life balance.

Alternative Work Schedules

Define Alternative Work Schedules. Review your agency policies and collective bargaining agreements to see work schedules available to you. Also see OPM Fact sheets on Flexible Work Schedules and Compressed Work Schedules.

Flexible Work Schedules

Flexible Work Schedules (FWS) consist of workdays with (1) core hours and (2) flexible hours. Core hours are the designated period of the day when all employees must be at work. Flexible hours are the part of the workday when employees may alter their schedules, based on limits set by their agencies. See OPM’s Fact Sheets on Flexible Work Schedules.

Hoteling and Touchdown Workspaces

In addition to the workplace flexibilities, employees who telework may utilize various “touchdown spaces” or “hoteling workspaces” offered by USDA.

These offer employees an opportunity to reserve a specific desk/workstation or any other type of space: meeting/conference rooms, collaborative spaces, phone banks or desks. These workstations still aren’t assigned to specific employees, but they have some more choice and control over where they work. Employees that telework more than 3 days per pay period can follow their Mission Area, agency, staff office protocol to reserve a touchdown/hoteling workspace.

All employees requesting workplace flexibilities must maintain compliance with all telework/remote work regulations and labor negotiations. Requested telework/remote work requires supervisory approval.