Federal Workers Given Option to Telework as Ice Storm Approaches

Facing the prospects of another nightmare commute in the Northern Virginia region, the Office of Personnel Management has issued an alert to federal government employees and has extended the option to telecommute to work on February 1st. The storm system approaching the region later this evening is not expected to affect evening commutes, but will continue to generate precipitation through Wednesday.

The storm system will straddle a freeze   line that will create highly variable precipitation in our area and may include ice, sleet, and freezing rain. In an official release the OPM said, “To protect the safety of Federal workers and our community, maintain continuity of operations and assist employees in planning accordingly, we are announcing for Tuesday, February 1 the option for unscheduled leave/telework.”

OPM Director John Berry said, “The safety of Federal employees and our community is our top priority,” adding that, “This early announcement gives employees and managers the flexibility to stay safe and keep our government working.”

Federal employees are advised to monitor the situation closely. The Office of Personnel Management has stated that they will update the operating status as needed and appropriate. Updates will be available at   www.opm.gov.


  1. just interested says:

    This past snow storm was a nightmare for all commuters. Problem here is that many jobs in the private sector expect you to show up to work regardless of the hazzard involved. It is all about the bottom line,not the people.

  2. The option for Federal workers to telework tomorrow applies only “if the employee has a telework agreement in place that is approved for unscheduled telework.”

  3. Sarge Willis says:

    The telework is good if you have the work that can be done at home and the equipement to work at home, otherwise you have to use your annual leave. After the problems with the commute last week I bet there are a lot of annual leave being use today.

    • Not only do you need to have the equipment at home, but your workplace needs to have the infrastructure set up to handle a large load of teleworkers. Most of the Federal Gov’t. still doesn’t have that in place.

  4. Typical government. Didn’t let everyone out until it was far too late last week. This week they go 180 degrees and approve leave/telework for what is so far a non-event. Somewhee there’s a happy medium. I think

    • Dmaxnjackson says:

      I start at 6am. Leave at 2:30. Gov’t gave us 2 hrs early dismissal, that means I left at 12:30. Storm hit around 3(somewhere around there) was sitting at home drinking a hot cup of coffee. The problem is, many people choose to come in later, due to kids or just not wanting to get up that early to go to work at 6. I understand both aspects. But the gov’t not letting everybody out in time is a completely false statement.

      • THe government did not take into account what you just said. Some people on flex schedules come in at 0900, meaning they don’t leave until 530pm. So as it was, they could leave at 330 pm. By then it was far too late

  5. unscheduled telework is only viable if there is a high speed internet connection, otherwise it is burning 8 hours of leave. there is no high speed internet where I am in Clarke. Comcast won’t come because the house is too far from the road (and they want me to pay for trenching); too far from town for DSL; by the time fios gets to areas in Clarke not within town limits, there will be some new, better way to connect (that is if it ever comes to Clarke, which I doubt anyway, or it will be in 20 years and after my kids are out of the schools and I am retired); satellite is spotty at best; etc. All this talk about high speed connectivity and how important it is and there is none unless you live in town.

    • Dmaxnjackson says:

      Then move closer to town 🙂

      Sorry about that, just said what alot of people are thinking.

  6. Sarge Willis says:

    Even living in town with DSL it is slow, I had dial-up before and DSL isn’t a whole lot faster, not fast enough to telework from home and get anything done. I burned up 8 hours leave yesterday, but I am an old time Govie so I have the leave, a lot of Gov. workers don’t get the leave like I do so using 8 hours every time we get bad weather hurts.