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AFMC releases updated telework guidance

A Department of Defense civilian employee teleworks in early April 2020. Personnel from the Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks Directorate at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., went to work in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to expand the user capacity of the Air Force network to get more teleworkers online. (DoD photo/released)

A Department of Defense civilian employee teleworks in early April 2020. (DoD photo/released)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- The Air Force Materiel Command has released an updated guide to provide employees and supervisors with a one-stop reference to policies and procedures governing telework activity across the mission set.

The 25-page document covers all aspects of telework, to include eligibility, training, pay, leave and absence, equipment, documentation and more, with applicability to all AFMC civilian employees, service members, commanders and supervisors, and all other management officials who are in telework-eligible positions consistent with Air Force and Department of Defense guidance.

“The coronavirus pandemic has shown that telework can be successful in many areas of our mission,” said Gen. Arnold W. Bunch, Jr., AFMC commander. “When the pandemic is over, we are not going back to the way things were before. This is just one way we are taking steps now to be better prepared for the future.”

A large portion of the AFMC workforce transitioned to full or partial telework status in 2020 due to COVID-19 in an effort to minimize in-person contact and potential spread of the virus in the workplace. Many employees continue to fully execute their missions virtually, with commanders reporting minimal, if any, impacts across the spectrum.

The coronavirus pandemic has shown that telework can be successful in many areas of our mission. When the pandemic is over, we are not going back to the way things were before. This is just one way we are taking steps now to be better prepared for the future.
Gen. Arnold W. Bunch, Jr., Commander

Post-pandemic, AFMC uniformed and civilian Airmen in telework-eligible positions will remain in a telework-ready status, with a Situational/AdHoc telework agreement on file, at minimum. Supervisors will be responsible for designating positions as telework eligible, subject to the ability for work to be successfully conducted out of the office without face-to-face interaction or specific machinery necessary to execute missions.

“The pandemic forced the Air Force to quickly climb a steep telework learning curve, and we overcame major hurdles, some real and some perceived, to become a more adaptive workplace,” said Bill Snodgrass, AFMC director of Manpower, Personnel and Services. “The bottom line is that telework has proven to be successful; most of our Airmen have not only adapted to this new way of operating but enjoy it. It is recognized in both the public and private sectors as a strong civilian recruiting tool and provides us greater access to a diverse workforce.”  

The AFMC Telework Guide is available at https://go.usa.gov/xsQP6. As Department of Defense and Air Force develop new official guidance, the guide will be updated as required.

“We continue to seek maximum flexibility as we transition to becoming a 21st century workforce,” said Snodgrass, “We are looking at some positions being fully remote, while others may be eligible for telework a few days a week. This pandemic has proven our ability to execute our missions remotely, and we continue to learn and refine best practices to propel our workforce into the future.”