NASA logo NASA Headquarters' Directives
HQPR 3611.1
Effective Date: October 25, 2007
Expiration Date: October 25, 2012
Cancellation Date: April 19, 2012
Responsible Office: LM
Telework Program
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Table of Contents | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | AppendixD | AppendixE

CHAPTER 1. Overview of Telework


1.1.1 Alternative worksite: a location other than the employee's established official duty station, such as an employee's residence, a telework center, or a facility established by state, local, or county governments for use by teleworkers.

1.1.2 Core Telework: an approved work schedule where an eligible employee works on a routine or regular basis away from the official duty station at least one day per week at an alternative worksite.

1.1.3 Eligible Employee: a satisfactorily performing employee whose job may typically be performed at an alternative worksite.

1.1.4 Eligible Position: where some or all duties of the job can effectively be performed away from the official duty station without adverse affect on customer service delivery, do not require the direct handling of secure materials on a regular and recurring basis, and are conducive to supervisory oversight at the alternative worksite.

1.1.5 Episodic Telework: approved work that occurs on an occasional, situational, or non-routine basis at an alternative worksite. Work may occur less than one day per week; a few hours per week; or one or more days per week on an irregular basis. This provides an ideal arrangement for employees who, at infrequent times, work on projects or assignments that require intense concentration.

1.1.6 Official Duty Station: an employee?s official duty station that is documented on the most recent Notification of Personnel Action (e.g., SF-50) for his or her position of record. This is the location (city or town, and state) of the employee?s worksite or where the work activities are based. All pay, leave, and travel entitlements are based on the employee?s official duty station.

1.1.7 Telework: any arrangement in which an employee performs officially assigned duties at home or other approved worksites that are typically geographically convenient to the residence of the employee. Telework is voluntary on the part of the employee, with management approval.

1.1.8 Teleworker: an employee who works at an alternative worksite (i.e. home, telework center, or other satellite work location) on an established or episodic schedule.

1.1.9 Telework Agreement: a written agreement between an employee and the first-level supervisor, required for Core telework arrangements, that outlines the terms and conditions under which the employee may perform work at an alternative worksite.

1.1.10 Telework Center: a General Services Administration or other approved facility established by state, local, or county government or private sector organization for use by teleworkers.

1.2 Introduction

1.2.1 The following telework arrangements are available at NASA Headquarters subject to supervisory approval (including approval from managers overseeing matrixed employees) and suitability of the employee and the work to be accomplished:

a. Core (Regular)

b. Episodic (Non-regular)

1.2.2 This program is intended to provide flexibility to both the supervisor and employee within the following parameters: Telework is a management option rather than an employee entitlement and does not change the terms and conditions of appointment, nor does it alter the amount of time an employee is expected to work, job responsibilities or benefits. Employee participation is voluntary and subject to supervisory approval.

1.2.3 Any occupation/job involving portable work shall be considered for inclusion in the Telework Program. Supervisors shall decide whether the employee and the position meet the criteria and consider any additional cost to Headquarters.

1.2.4 Employees who perform duties that are suitable for teleworking and meet other established eligibility requirements shall be afforded the opportunity to telework.

1.2.5 Telework shall be considered in providing reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities or for employees with short- term medical or other personal problems provided the employee is able to safely and successfully perform tasks to be accomplished.

1.2.6 Telework shall not adversely affect the performance of the teleworker or others in the work group or place a burden on the staff remaining in the office. Further, service organizations shall be able to continue to provide excellent support to their customers, both internally and externally. Within a work unit, the supervisor shall consider rotation of teleworking periods, work requirements, and employee equity, if the work situation is impacted by too many employees requesting telework.

1.2.7 Telework is not a substitute for dependent care. Employees shall not use telework duty time for any purpose other than official duties.

1.2.8 The telework time period and the tasks and/or deliverables to be performed at the alternative worksite shall be determined in advance.

1.2.9 Employees working at an alternative worksite shall be subject to callback to their official duty station if necessary to accomplish the mission of the organization. In such cases, the supervisor will provide as much advance notice to the employee as possible.

1.3 Scheduling Telework Days and Certifying Time and Attendance

1.3.1 An employee's tour of duty shall be consistent with the requirements of the same work schedules established for NASA Headquarters (i.e., standard, compressed, or flexitour). Employees may be approved for both telework and an alternative work schedule.

1.3.2 Teleworking without specific arrangements such as days or hours to be worked, tasks and/or deliverables to be performed, identification of the alternative worksite and how to be reached, as well as prior approval of those arrangements shall not be permitted.

1.3.3 Core Telework arrangements shall be from one to three days per workweek. This ensures that the employee is available in the office during the workweek for face-to-face meetings, access to facilities, or other activities that require the employee to be present at the worksite. Exceptions may be permitted when approved by the supervisor, and concurred by the second-level supervisor. Supervisors shall document the reason(s) for any exceptions.

1.3.4 Episodic Telework is used for occasional, irregular events and normally shall not exceed a 30-day period. In unusual circumstances (such as medical reasons), when approved by the supervisor, and concurred by the second-level supervisor, extensions may be made. Supervisors shall document the reason(s) for any extensions. If an episodic arrangement becomes regular and recurring, the employee shall be placed on Core Telework and a formal agreement approved.

1.3.5 Unless an exception has been approved by the supervisor, and concurred by the second-level supervisor, participants shall report to the official duty station at least one day a week. For employees whose location varies on a daily basis, the employee shall work within the locality pay area for the regular worksite at least one day a week. Supervisors shall document the reason(s) for any exceptions.

1.3.6 The specific days and hours that the employee will telework shall be specified in the request/approval documentation and approved by the supervisor prior to teleworking.

1.3.7 Supervisors shall use WebTADS, the NASA-wide automated time and attendance system, to document the eligibility of employees for telework and whether the telework is core or episodic. The telework status of new employees shall be documented in WebTADS within two weeks after assignment to the organization.

1.3.8 All employees new to an organization shall complete an Initial Request for Telework (Appendix B) and submit it to the supervisor within two weeks.

1.3.9 Proper monitoring and certification of employee work is critical to the success of the Telework Program. Each employee working under a Telework arrangement shall indicate in their WebTADS account the number of telework hours worked and the appropriate labor code. Adjustments to the approved work schedule are permitted, with prior supervisory approval, and shall be recorded in WebTADS. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that telework hours are properly annotated prior to approving the timesheet.

1.3.10 Teleworkers follow the same procedures as non-teleworkers for time and attendance, to include requesting leave and overtime or compensatory time.

1.3.11 Federal policies and procedures governing certification of time and attendance require agencies with employees working at remote sites to provide reasonable assurance that they are working when scheduled. Reasonable assurance includes occasional and as needed supervisory telephone calls, visits to the worksite, and determination of work output for the time spent off-site.

1.3.12 The Telework Matrix provides the distinctions between Core and Episodic Telework. (Appendix A).

1.4 Position Descriptions and Performance Plans

1.4.1 Telework does not require a change in either the position description or the performance plan because telework does not change the employee's duties and responsibilities or performance elements. The employee is simply performing assigned duties at an alternate work site.

1.4.2 The specific tasks to be performed while teleworking must be agreed upon by the employee and supervisor in advance. The supervisor will establish any related performance expectations and feedback/review. For Core Telework, this will be documented in a telework agreement.

1.5 Excused Absences, Administrative Dismissals, Emergency Closings

1.5.1 The principles governing excused absences, administrative dismissals, and closings for employees teleworking may vary depending on the circumstances. Administrative dismissals and closings are approved by the Assistant Administrator for Infrastructure and Administration and closure of the Federal Government is approved by the Office of Personnel Management. Excused absences relating to these types of emergency closings will be announced to all Headquarters employees at the time of the emergency.

1.5.2 One of the major benefits of the Telework Program is the ability of participants to continue working at their alternative worksites during a disruption of Government operations. The ability to conduct work (and the nature of any impediments), whether at home or at the office, determines when an employee may be excused from duty. An employee working at home or alternative worksite:

a. May not be excused from duty for an interruption in work at NASA Headquarters (e.g., closing, dismissal, etc.) unless their work cannot be completed due to that interruption.

b. May be excused from duty during an emergency situation if the emergency adversely affects the telework site (e.g., disruption of electricity, loss of heating or cooling, natural disaster, personal hardship that prevents continuation of work or loss of contact with the regular worksite). Each situation must be reviewed to consider factors such as time and duration of interruption and the appropriateness of having the employee report to their official duty station.

Depending on the above situations, the employee may be required to report to their duty station, take approved annual leave or leave without pay, or receive an authorized excused absence.

1.6 Safeguards

1.6.1 The employee is required to comply with the same requirements for safeguarding Government records and NASA information as non teleworking employees. Off-site access to classified data (i.e., data with official classifications assigned such as "Confidential", "Secret", or "Top Secret") is not permitted. Sensitive but Unclassified (SBU) information must be properly handled and protected from unauthorized disclosure. At no time shall SBU information be stored and transmitted without an appropriate encryption method. At a minimum, all SBU is to be stored and transmitted using a FIPS-140-2 encryption algorithm even on a non-NASA computer (i.e., computers at other than NASA Headquarters such as contracting facilities or personally owned). This type of information is to be securely deleted (i.e., secure wiping program with at least seven (7) passes) within thirty (30) days of non-use. See Section 5.24 of NPR 1600.1, NASA Security Program Procedural Requirements for more information.

1.6.2 All requirements set forth in the Privacy Act of 1974, applicable to the use, storage and disposal of Privacy Act data and NPD 1382.17G, NASA Privacy Policy, and NPR 1382.1, NASA Privacy Procedural Requirements, apply to work performed at the alternative worksite.

1.6.3 Teleworkers are responsible for reasonably assuring the protection of NASA assets, including electronic data and adhering to all applicable NASA IT security requirements, including completing IT security training and using safeguards for electronic data. See NPR 2810.1A, Security of Information Technology, for applicable information. The following is the minimum list of practices that teleworking employees shall follow:

a. Computers processing U.S. Government information must be protected by anti-virus software which is kept up-to-date.

b. Operating system and application software on computers processing U.S. Government information must be kept up-to-date and contain current security patches.

c. Computers processing U.S. Government information and utilizing DSL or Cable Modem connections to the Internet must be running a firewall that is kept up-to-date.

d. All U.S. Government information must be secured from access by other users of a privately owned computer system.

e. At all times sensitive information must be appropriately encrypted when stored on computers, all types of external storage devices, PDAs, and when transmitted electronically by any means. Un-encrypted hard copy sensitive information must also be appropriately protected and closely controlled.

1.6.4 Loss or compromise of sensitive U.S. Government information shall be reported to the NASA Headquarters IT Help Desk at (202) 358-4357 or toll free at 1-866-462-7247, immediately (i.e., when the employee realizes that such an event has transpired), but not later than:

a. within one (1) hour when the loss or compromise is discovered during normal business hours; or

b. within three (3) hours when the loss or compromise is discovered during non-business hours.

1.7 Facilities and Equipment

1.7.1 Core telework will normally be performed at home. Work at a GSA telework center may be approved if the employee has an unusual need to work at a site other than their home, and if doing so is also beneficial to NASA. Telecenters shall not be a common alternative worksite. If use of a telecenter is approved, the cost shall be incurred by the employee?s ?home? organization.

1.7.2 Episodic telework is typically performed at home, although supervisors may approve other work sites in unusual situations. Because of its intermittent and occasional nature, episodic teleworking is not appropriate to be performed at a telework center.

1.7.3 IT equipment, software, telephones and/or extra telephone/data lines, and appropriate accommodations for persons with disabilities shall be provided to teleworkers, with supervisory approval, to the extent permitted by Federal law and regulation. See NPR 4200.1F, NASA Equipment Management Procedural Requirements, for applicable information. The equipment must be necessary for the performance of the employee?s assigned tasks, reasonably available, and cost effective. The HQ Information Technology & Communications Division will provide equipment and support services according to established procedures. Teleworkers are subject to the same IT security, appropriate use, and property management requirements as non-teleworkers. Employees teleworking from other facilities or locations are encouraged to request the issuance of NASA owned laptops. These laptops provide all appropriately installed and properly configured core load software. This core load includes appropriately configured encryption technology, antivirus protection, firewalls and provides for all IT security considerations. In addition to being fully configured and ready to protect NASA data, these systems are fully supported in the area of technical support by the NASA Help Desk. NASA does not currently provide or support encryption technology for installation on home computer systems.

1.7.4 NASA is not responsible for any operating costs associated with the use of the employee?s home as an alternate work site (i.e., utilities, etc.).

1.8 Safety

1.8.1 Teleworking employees are responsible for adhering to proper safety practices at all times. This includes maintaining a safe work environment and familiarity with the NASA safety requirement. See HQPR 8715.1 Workplace Safety and Health for Supervisors and Employees, for applicable information. The Self-Certification Safety and IT Security Checklist (Appendix E) is required for core telework arrangements.

1.8.2 Employees shall have a safe and adequate alternative worksite that is free from interruptions and provides the necessary level of security and protection for Government property.

1.9 Telework Agreements/Documentation

1.9.1 Core telework arrangements shall be documented in a Telework Agreement (Appendix D) and approved prior to teleworking. The Telework Agreement shall be modified to include any additional specifications or understanding of the telework arrangement.

1.9.2 Core telework agreements shall be renewed every 52 weeks or when circumstances dictate the need for a new agreement.

1.9.3 When a new supervisor is assigned to an organizational unit, the supervisor shall review the telework agreements of assigned employees to ensure no modifications are required. When an employee is reassigned to a different organizational unit, a new telework agreement must be executed and approved by the new supervisor.

1.9.4 Episodic Telework arrangements shall be requested in advance, unless an emergency occurs, via an e-mail (Appendix C) and approved by the supervisor prior to each telework occurrence. The specific hours or days and work to be performed shall be included in the request. The Episodic Telework E-Mail Request shall be modified to include any additional specifications or understanding of the telework arrangement.

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