The Biden administration wants to “aggressively” get federal workers back in the office by September or October.
“We are returning to in-person work because it is critical to the well-being of our teams and will enable us to deliver better results for the American people,” according to an email by White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients. The administration will not eliminate remote work entirely, though.
The directive follows a memo sent in April by the Office of Management and Budget urging departments to have employees return to the office. The attention to office usage comes as federal agencies are making plans to reduce the amount of space they lease.
Published reports earlier this summer said that most federal agencies have been using less than 25% of their office space since the start of the Covid pandemic. As of September 2022, a General Services Administration report said that most agencies were planning significant office space reductions. The GAO surveyed 24 federal agencies on plans to reduce leased space, and 19 of them planned to reduce square footage over the next three years.