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Assessing Job Tasks

When making determinations regarding employee participation in telework, OPM strongly encourages agencies and managers to be creative when considering how to use telework and other workplace flexibilities.  For example, many share the perception that telework is an “all or none” proposition (e.g., some managers believe certain jobs are just not conducive for telework), therefore they dismiss outright the possibility of telework for some employees.  However, every job is made up of a collection of tasks.  Working at an alternate site may be better suited for some tasks than for others.  Also, most jobs, if not all, include some duties that are considered “portable” in that they generally can be performed from any location.  

Examples of portable work include, but are not limited to:

  • Reading reports;
  • Analyzing documents and studies
  • Preparing written letters, memorandums, reports and other correspondence;
  • Setting up conference calls; and
  • Similar tasks that do not necessarily require that an employee be physically present at the regular worksite. 

Writing, analysis, and research tasks are ideally suited to the quieter, less distracting environment of the alternate site.  Some teleworkers save certain tasks that they set aside for their telework days. Others do the same tasks no matter where they are working.  It is often the case that some of an employee’s duties can be performed at an alternative site, including administrative, clerical, and technical work.

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