Telework Managing Officer
Who is a Teleworking Managing Officer (TMO)?
To reach the goals of telework, the Telework Enhancement Act of December 2010 (the Act) required Executive agencies to appoint a leader, with direct access to the head of each agency, who would oversee and be accountable for the agency telework program. Specifically, the Act required the head of each agency to designate a Telework Managing Officer (TMO) within “the Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer or other comparable office with similar functions.” This placement ideally brings management of telework programs into the circle of top leadership and ensures alignment with strategic decision-making.
Who is a Telework Coordinator?
While each agency will have only one individual, the TMO, who is accountable for the agency's telework program according to the Act, agencies have discretion to determine whether and how they will utilize Telework Coordinators to implement the day-to-day aspects of the agency telework program. To find your Telework Coordinator, search OPM’s Work-Life Contact Tool.
TMO: More than an Administrative Role
The TMO is meant to be a strategic thinker and planner who will help the agency incorporate telework in a way that makes good business sense. In designating a TMO, agencies should look for the same leadership competencies and high standards they would consider in selecting any leadership position.
The Act assigned specific duties that reflect the strategic role of the TMO, including:
- Responsibility for telework policy development and program implementation
- Advisor to agency leadership
- Resource for managers and employees
- The primary agency point of contact with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) on telework matters, including the annual reports to Congress
The TMO is also responsible for leading development of goals and metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of the telework program and data collection related to reporting requirements.
In many cases, the TMO assumes some of the duties of what was formerly the Department-level Telework Coordinator. However, the TMO responsibilities encompass much more than the operational day-to-day aspects of telework and delve more into policy, advising, and an overarching management of the entire telework program for the agency. Given that telework programs can require significant organizational change across an agency, the role of the TMO is strategically critical.
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