Telework

Topline Information

** NOTE **

Due to the severity of COVID-19, employees who are coded in WebTADS as ineligible for telework will still be allowed to telework if/when mandatory telework and/or the Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP) have been implemented.

Moving on from Mandatory Telework

Mandatory telework will end at different times for each center, and only once a center reaches Stage 2 of the NASA Framework for Return to On-Site Work. However, under Stage 2, employees who can accomplish work remotely are encouraged to continue teleworking. When the center reaches Stage 1 of the RTOW Framework, employees should be ready to return on-site unless other arrangements are made with their supervisor.

If, after the mandatory telework requirement is lifted at your center, you do not feel comfortable returning on-site and/or continue to have dependant care responsibilities due to coronavirus-related facility closures in your area, please coordinate with your supervisor to continue teleworking or implement some other workplace flexibility, such as working outside core hours or assignment of alternative work duties.

Definitions

Mandatory Telework

Mandatory telework is a non-optional telework status that may be instituted during an emergency that disrupts, or has the potential to disrupt, federal government operations, including inclement weather or other safety-related events such as a pandemic.

Telework Agreement

A telework agreement is a formal agreement between an employee and their supervisor, established in WebTADS, that specifies the approved parameters by which and employee may telework.

Telework Eligible

An employee is telework eligible if their work or training can be performed outside their normal worksite(s). Telework-eligible employees should have a Telework Agreement (TA) in place. During the COVID-19 pandemic, employees who do not have a TA in place still are permitted to telework, but are encouraged to take the required training and establish a TA as soon as possible.

Telework Ineligible

An employee is telework ineligible if their work cannot be performed outside their normal worksite(s) because it is not portable and no other portable work can be assigned to the employee. For example, employees working in a wind tunnel with no other portable work can be assigned. In such an instance, weather and safety leave (XLV61) may be granted. During the COVID-19 pandemic, supervisors can assign other work for telework-ineligible employees - beyond their normal duties - to do at home, as appropriate.

Telework Ready

A telework-ready employee has completed the required telework training, has an approved Telework Agreement in place, and has the required work equipment (e.g., computer) to effectively perform duties at an approved alternate worksite.

Unscheduled Telework

Also referred to as situational, episodic, intermittent, or ad-hoc telework, unscheduled telework is telework time approved on a case-by-case basis and not part of a previously approved, ongoing, and regular telework schedule.

Telework-Life Balance

When your home becomes your workplace, it’s easy to let work creep into your downtime. Over the days and weeks, this can lead to physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion – also known as burnout.

There are times when critical work requires after-hours action, but this should not be the norm. If constant work is an issue for you, please consider some of these measures to re-introduce or maintain work-life balance:

  • Consider assigning a dedicated space in your home for work that you can leave once your work is completed, in order to maintain a distinction between work and your personal life.
  • Work with your supervisor to set clear expectations and adjust your workload, as appropriate. This may include changing due dates and/or redistributing work assignments among your team.
  • Let your supervisor and team know when you are disconnecting from work for the day. Place an out of office message in your email, or block time in your Outlook calendar as non-available, so anyone contacting you understands you will not respond right away.
  • Consider using annual leave for longer stretches to relax and recharge.
  • Reach out to your center Employee Assistance Program or human resources office for additional ideas and support.

Managers and supervisors are expected to lean forward in setting reasonable expectations and providing appropriate work flexibilities. Options include:

  • Shifting core hours, or even work days, to help employees who have dependent care responsibilities
  • Setting a standard that responses to messages sent after normal business hours are not expected until the employee’s normal work day begins
  • Encouraging use of popular telework practices such as
    • Quiet Days – a designated day each week on which no meetings are scheduled
    • Virtual Closed Door – a short period of time in the day during which an employee does not answer emails, instant messages, or calls in order to wrap up an urgent assignment

FAQs for New Employees

How do I know if I am telework ready?

You can check your telework eligibility status located in WebTADS under the Telework Status section. Your telework eligibility status is reflected.

What if I am not telework ready?

To become telework ready, first complete the mandatory telework training in SATERN and/or other center-specific training. The mandatory SATERN training courses are:

  • Telework Training for Employees (Course HQ-TW-TTEM)
  • Telework Training for Managers (Course HQ-TW-TTM)

Then, coordinate with your supervisor to establish a Telework Agreement in WebTADS.

How long does it take for WebTADS to reflect the telework training?

It will take 48 hours for telework training to be reflected in WebTADS. An approver, such as your supervisor, can manually change the telework training completed field from “N” to “Y” in WebTADS and enter the date the training was completed to avoid the delay in completing the agreement.