The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 requires most federal agencies to implement a teleworking program. Teleworking, also called telecommuting, is an arrangement where the employee works from home or from a remote location. According to the 2013 Status of Telework in the Federal Government Report to Congress, the number of employees eligible for teleworking in 2013 increased by 49 percent from the previous year, while the number of employees teleworking increased by 84 percent. Finding a government telecommuting job can start with a search on the USAJobs.gov website, which is the federal government’s site for job listings.
Although some federal bodies are exempt from the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010, such as the Smithsonian Institution, most are not. The goal of this law is to offer more work flexibility to government employees and help them achieve a greater work/life balance. While the agency may provide equipment such as laptops and smart phones, you must have Internet access to get a telework job. Job candidates also need the ability to work independently and stay organized. The Office of Personnel Management provides resources to both employees and agencies regarding federal telework jobs and policies.
Federal Job Search
To find federal government opportunities that allow telecommuting, visit the USAJobs website and type telework in the keyword field. After hitting the search button, the site produces job listings that likely feature a telework option. Adding words to the keyword field besides telework such as city, state or job title will further refine your job search. If you get selected for an interview, mention your preference for telecommuting to the hiring manager.
Federal Agencies with Opportunities
As of October 2014 the Department of the Interior offered the most telework jobs of any federal agency, with more than 100 available positions. These positions ranged from entry level clerk positions to management jobs. Other agencies with open positions included the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice and Department of the Treasury. Positions in areas such as information technology, accounting and administrative operations tend to lead in federal government telework opportunities.
State Government Jobs
Every state maintains a website listing of open state government jobs. For example, the Pennsylvania Bureau of State Employment’s “PA Employment” and Illinois’ “Work 4 Illinois” websites have links to open positions. If the site allows a search by keyword, type in telework to find government telecommuting jobs. If searching by keyword is not an option, click the section for job listings and read the listings to determine if telecommuting is an option. Additionally, if you have friends, family or acquaintances who work for the government, ask if they know of any telework opportunities and have them provide contact names to you.