Over 10,000 More Virginia State Employees Teleworking than in 2019

Virginia has 15,338 state employees teleworking at least one day a week, according to a September 30 report from the Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM). That’s up from pre-pandemic 5,664 employees in 2019; Governor Glenn Youngkin’s administration said the increase is good.

As of September 7, 2022, 42 percent of classified executive branch employees were eligible for telework. Of those, 66 percent have approved telework agreements in place. This is significantly higher than employees eligible (26 percent) and approved for telework (37 percent) in 2019,” the report states.

“Here in state government, we’re seeing an increase over pre-pandemic, and also an increase since we first published numbers in July … We allowed people to defer any choices until school started. So even since July, we’ve seen the number go up by a third,” Secretary of Administration Lyn McDermid said in a statement to The Virginia Star.

She said, “So we’re seeing what I think of as a significant increase, which is good. Now this of course, as you know, is a variety of days – some people have chosen one to two days, others, all five days  – so we have that spread across this spectrum.”

The report says that in 2019, 15,399 of 58,838 employees were eligible for telework, with 600 teleworking full-time, 2,842 teleworking a minimum of 32 hours but less than 40, and 2,222 working less than that. Now, 23,185 employees are eligible, with 1,712 teleworking five days per week, 455 teleworking four days per week, 1,026 teleworking three days per week, 4,848 teleworking two days per week, and 7,302 teleworking one day per week.

Current telework levels also exceed telework goals set by the Virginia General Assembly over a decade ago.

The percentage of classified employees who are now teleworking, exceeds the legislated goal of at least 20 percent of employees in eligible positions being approved to telework by January 1, 2010, as described in section 2.22817.1. of the Code of Virginia,” the report states.

The general assembly ordered the report in the recently-passed budget around the same time as Governor Glenn Youngkin’s administration changed its telework policy, including requiring high-level approvals for permanent telework arrangements of more than one day per week.

Chief of Staff Jeff Goettman said at the time, “Now, more than two years into this pandemic, we are returning to normalcy leaning forward and focusing on excellence to ensure that the Commonwealth of Virginia is the best place in the nation to live, work, and raise a family.”

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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network.  Email tips to [email protected].

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