Senators want more data on federal employees’ telework

By Kevin Bogardus | 04/03/2024 01:36 PM EDT

Bipartisan legislation would have agencies monitor staff working from home and their use of office space.

Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.).

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chair Gary Peters (D-Mich.) is sponsoring legislation to increase transparency about federal employee telework. Francis Chung/POLITICO

A bipartisan Senate duo is calling on federal agencies to better track employees’ use of telework and how it impacts their operations.

On Wednesday, Sens. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), chair of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) announced legislation to expand transparency and oversight of the practice, which has been hotly debated since the Covid-19 pandemic led to many civil servants working from home.

The “Telework Transparency Act” would require agencies to post their telework policies online and set up automated systems to track when staffers are working outside the office. In addition, agencies would have to monitor use of their office space and how telework affects their performance.


“Federal agencies must track and consider the impact of telework on their ability to deliver services, recruit and retain talent, and ensure office operations are cost-efficient,” Peters said in a statement, adding that his legislation would “help ensure federal agencies are effectively carrying out their missions for the American people.”