Scott Administration Issues Return to Work' Plan for City Employees
Friday Sep 29th, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD (Friday, September 29, 2023) – Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott and Chief Administrative Officer Faith Leach directed executive departments and agencies to increase employee in-person presence at city government offices beginning Tuesday, January 2, 2024.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Baltimore City pivoted to a maximum telework posture to accommodate the immediate public health crisis. As Baltimore City adapts in this latest stage of the pandemic, the city is making additional updates to the hybrid work environment to encourage city employees to increase their time spent in physical office spaces. The update to the telework policy is designed to allow agencies to continue to use telework as a tool in talent recruitment, retention, and to accommodate building space limitations, while increasing meaningful in-person work.
“One of my goals is to bring Baltimore City into the 21st century, and that means evaluating every aspect of our government including the needs of our workforce and the needs of the residents we serve,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “The pandemic showed us that we can still be productive in remote work environments, but it is critical that residents are able to effectively interact with city agencies and that our agencies are able to efficiently deliver city services. That is why we are reimagining our telework policy to reflect best practices and lessons learned from our future of work pilot. Baltimore City employees are some of the hardest working people I have ever met, and I believe that updating our policies to balance flexibility and in person work will increase the efficiency and efficacy of our work.”
“As public servants, it is our duty to ensure we provide optimal, uninterrupted services to Baltimore City residents, businesses, and visitors while also leveraging telework as an important tool for recruitment and retention of a high-quality workforce,” said Chief Administrative Officer Faith P. Leach.” This new hybrid plan is an intentional approach to balance these needs while delivering on the promise of improved customer service and efficient city service delivery for our residents.”
On April 20, 2022, the Scott Administration initiated a “Future of Work” pilot program that encouraged telework for targeted city employees whose responsibilities could be completed remotely without negatively impacting agency operations. The program was successful and city employees demonstrated flexibility and professionalism as they adapted. As a next step, Mayor Scott and Chief Administrative Officer Leach are updating the city’s telework policy and standardizing telework protocols across the city enterprise.
Effective Tuesday, January 2, 2024 city government agencies and departments will be able to schedule employees for telework no more than two days per week. Over the next 90 days the Scott Administration will:
- Submit an updated telework policy from the Department of Human Resources (DHR) to the Board of Estimates (BOE) for review and approval.
- Release an expanded telework request form to allow employees to request expanded telework to accommodate building space limitations, recruitment and retention needs, etc.
- Work with DHR to analyze and create titles best suited for remote work.
- Finalize an enterprise-wide building and workspace consolidation plan developed by the Department of General Services (DGS).
- Provide employees with access to technological updates from the Baltimore City Information Technology (BCIT) Department that will increase staff efficiency during hybrid work, and ensure that city employees are accessible to residents regardless of their location.
This initiative impacts roughly 2,000 employees who currently work remotely more than three days per work. The vast majority of the nearly 14,000 workers across city government, either are full-time in-person due to the nature of their work or telework two days a week or less.