February 5, 2021

Governments Becoming Remote WFM Masters

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many state and local governments had not adopted remote work practices. As offices everywhere shut down, some agencies had preparations in place for remote work, but many were left scrambling to adapt to a remote work setting with very little notice.

Employees, managers, and leaders transitioned to new methods and ramped up their remote work capabilities rapidly.

Two Primary Types of Remote Government Employees

The government employee workforce’s size is enormous; there are 16 million state and local government employees. When they aren’t working on-site, these employees fall into two primary categories:

Mobile employees include public works and public safety. The challenges of remote or mobile work are not new to them. From various locations, they need to be able to clock in and out and view and manage complex scheduling.
Remote employees include government workers whose workplaces include City Hall or other city office buildings office. For this group, working away from the office is new to them. Their challenges aren’t just about clocking in and out; they also need access to all the systems they likely have never accessed outside the office.

Achieving success for remote teams can be a challenge for employees and government office leaders who are trying to navigate complex changes.

COVID-19 Impact on Local and State Government Operations

Regardless of how ready government offices were for remote work, the cloud environment was crucial for continued operations during the pandemic. They still faced challenges, especially in having access to IT hardware and equipment, managing the remote workforce, and getting technology access that employees required. They also experienced an impact on revenue and cybersecurity.

There’s no denying that every employer faced some level of challenge related to the unanticipated impact of COVID-19. Due to the varied nature of their operations, state and local governments faced several unique challenges.

Without the pre-existing protocol for working remotely, employees had minimal access to the technology required to do their job. In a work environment that has previously been entirely in-person, it was challenging to shift to new productivity models that didn’t rely on face-to-face interactions.
Without in-person contact, government offices had to find new ways to monitoring employees’ day-to-day activities and duties. They also had to engage and inspire employees from a distance.
Building, deploying, and managing ever-changing schedules is always a challenge for government agencies, but without remote access to the necessary information, it’s downright impossible. In addition, scheduling for departments with complex needs, such as police and fire, requires an advanced system that allows them to ensure schedules are built based on staff who have the right rank, skillset and availability.
COVID-19 created the need for new – and continuously evolving – requirements around employee leave. Employers, including government offices, had to manage these leave changes for a large and varied workforce. We heard from one operation that made a manual error in managing this benefit, which resulted in needing to update 12,000 employee records.

Remote Work Isn’t Going Away

Estimates indicate that nearly 27% of employees will continue working from home through 2021. The trend will continue, with 36.2 million Americans working remotely by 2025, an 87% increase from the number of remote workers before COVID-19. As government employers strive to attract job candidates, it’s also worth noting that 74% of workers say they would gladly leave their current jobs in favor of a job that had a work-from-home option. View these stats and more remote work information in TCP’s remote work infographic.

Whether you’re a government organization that’s managing employees remotely or managing a mobile workforce, it’s time to consider how workforce management software can help your operation succeed at working remotely.

TCP offers an integrated solution that makes it easy to view time and attendance, schedules, leave and more in one system. This not only enables remote access but also provides you with data to gather insights about organizational efficiency. Our industry-leading web- and mobile-based time clocks make it easy for both remote and mobile government employees to clock in and out, regardless of their location. We also make it possible to deploy and manage complex schedules that empower employees to swap, drop or offer shifts to coworkers from anywhere. By adding integrated employee leave to the solution, as managers make the schedule, they can see the dates when staff will be unavailable to work.

With the continuation of remote work, officials must address these challenges by implementing workforce management technology. If they don’t, they’re at risk of losing the capacity to get the necessary work done due to an inability to adapt. Partnering with TCP allows you to empower your government operation with the best tools so you can deliver the services your community needs – regardless of the circumstances.

Download our eBook, “How WFM Software Helps Governments Maximize Their Workforce”>>