Teleworkers report higher job satisfaction than peers who work on site

OPM survey finds one in three feds qualifies for remote work option.

Telework has grown dramatically across the federal government, and thus far, it’s having a positive impact. Teleworkers at all pay levels say they experience higher engagement and job satisfaction, according to the results of the 2012 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey.

The survey, released last week by the Office of Personnel Management, found that the number of telework-eligible employees has grown significantly in the past year, from one in four to one in three federal employees. Almost one-quarter of the more than 687,000 federal employees surveyed reported that they have teleworked in some form.

Telework satisfaction also has increased slightly in the past year, up from 70 percent in 2011 to 73 percent in 2012, the survey found.

In addition, employees who telework also had higher global satisfaction and engagement scores when compared to their non-teleworking counterparts, a difference of seven percentage points in both cases.

The 2010 Telework Enhancement Act required that employees be notified of their eligibility to telework. An employee’s teleworking situation can include unscheduled or short-term telework to working off site several days per week. OPM included all forms of telework, regardless of duration, in its analysis.

Meanwhile, the General Services Administration and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation had the highest levels of telework participation among agencies surveyed, with more than eight out of 10 employees reporting they telework. Those employees also telework frequently, with more than six out of 10 employees reporting that they telework at least once or twice per month.

The National Science Foundation, Education Department and OPM also had telework participation levels above the governmentwide average, with three out of four employees teleworking in some form. The Office of Management and Budget had the greatest increase in teleworking over the past year, with participation rates increasing over 30 percent.