In addition to allowing continuity of operations by helping feds work during severe weather, telework can reduce the government's carbon footprint by reducing commutes.

In addition to allowing continuity of operations by helping feds work during severe weather, telework can reduce the government's carbon footprint by reducing commutes. milehightraveler / iStock.com

OPM’s Telework Initiatives Dovetail with Climate Change Planning

The agency announced a program to connect leaders from the private and nonprofit sectors with federal agencies to address climate change.

The Office of Personnel Management says that its efforts to harness workplace flexibilities like telework and remote work over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic will also help agencies adapt to climate change.

OPM on Thursday published its plan for “climate adaptation and resilience,” as mandated by President Biden’s executive order calling on agencies to prepare for the effects of climate change. As the federal government’s HR agency, OPM’s plan largely revolves around helping other agencies to offer workplace flexibilities and take advantage of hiring authorities to ensure their workforces can continue their jobs in the face of severe weather and other impacts from a warming planet.

The leading item in OPM’s report is a familiar one: telework and remote work. The agency said that this issue, which it separately has been working on to harness the unexpectedly improved engagement and morale among federal workers during the COVID-19 pandemic after it subsides, dovetails with the federal government’s needs both to be adaptable in the face of the effects of climate change, as well as reduce its carbon footprint.

“As OPM helps agencies plan for how they will leverage workplace flexibilities as a strategic asset in the post re-entry environment, there is an opportunity to assist agencies so that their operations can continue even during acute weather events or other future disruptions that prevent access to the worksite,” OPM wrote. “Furthermore, increased telework furthers the goals of the EO by limiting federal employees’ commute and reducing commuting-based carbon emissions.”

OPM has already issued guidance on how agencies should evaluate the long-term benefits of telework, and it has promised additional information on how agencies could harness remote work. The agency plans to provide additional “hands on” tools for managers across the federal government, particularly when it comes to performance management issues.

The agency said it is working with the White House Council on Environmental Quality to develop a new program where agencies hire senior leaders from the private and nonprofit sectors to help them “solve complex problems related to the climate crisis.” The program would allow agencies to hire these officials to temporary jobs to improve how agencies adapt to climate change impacts and generally improve sustainability, OPM wrote.

“This program will start by recruiting a small number of executives, but each could have a significant impact on agency operations,” OPM wrote. “Executives will work on issues that have local, regional, national and global impacts . . . OPM will leverage its unique understanding of the federal hiring process to specifically help agencies determine the appropriate hiring authority to use to bring executives on board.”

Additionally, OPM said it plans to expand its climate change-related training programs offered through its Center for Leadership Development to make it more accessible to the federal workforce.

“Presently, delivery mechanisms [for training] include open enrollment programs as well as custom programs provided to agency partners,” OPM wrote. “[The Center for Leadership Development] will also work with agencies that have existing sustainability, adaptation and resilience learning content (e.g., Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and others) to integrate their courses into OPM offerings and offer them through agency learning management systems.”

OPM also touted its involvement in recent efforts to improve the compensation of federal employees dealing directly with current impacts of climate change, specifically the effort to ensure federal firefighters make at least $15 per hour. Agencies employing federal firefighters have already instituted temporary measures to boost their pay, but OPM said it is working both on a permanent fix to their compensation, as well as other initiatives to improve recruitment and retention of workers on the front lines of disaster management.

“The work performed by wildland firefighters to reduce hazard fuel loads and restore degraded forest landscapes promotes climate resilience at the state and national level,” OPM wrote. “OPM hopes to further expand its impact by improving recruitment and retention of other occupations that are critical to the national response [to climate change].”

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.