Long-distance telework arrangements, in which employees work most or all of the time from a different geographic area, are increasingly common. They can help organizations recruit new employees with hard-to-find skillsets, or retain current employees who move due to spouse relocation or other life cycle issues.
These arrangements raise various policy issues, including reassignment of official worksite, reimbursement for travel, and pay. Teleworkers and their managers should discuss and consider the implications of long-distance telework so that everyone involved clearly understands the arrangement.
Official Worksite: The official worksite for a teleworker remains the place where they would normally work, not their telework location, as long as they are regularly scheduled to be at that site at least twice each biweekly pay period. Otherwise, for permanent long-distance telework arrangements, official worksite must be reassigned to the telework location.
See the full policy for official worksite.
Travel: 5 U.S.C. § 5702 has been interpreted to then say that in circumstances where the official worksite is reassigned to the telework location, trips to the main worksite are "official business" and the employee is entitled to travel reimbursement.
Pay: Reassignment of official worksite affects pay. The employee whose official worksite is reassigned receives locality pay for the telework worksite, not the original worksite. Locality pay tables are available on the OPM Pay Information site.
Other considerations: reassignment of official worksite may have implications for a Reduction in Force (RIF), as the new location may be a different competitive area than the original worksite.