December 2022
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TD Magazine

Public Sector Sees Improved Performance With Flexible Work

Thursday, December 1, 2022

The majority of US federal workers are more committed to quality outcomes.

Government workers haven't been exempt from changing work environments. For nearly three years, US federal employees have been working either completely remotely or splitting time between their homes and the office. And according to research from Eagle Hill Consulting, which surveyed 1,001 full- and part-time government employees, workplace flexibility has resulted in improved work. Half of those who telework say their team performance has increased since the pandemic began compared to only one-third of in-person government employees.


"The pandemic was transformational for the government workforce, accelerating what employees have long desired: more flexibility," says Melissa Jezior, president and CEO of Eagle Hill Consulting. "Our research is a clear signal that flexible work environments—both fully remote and hybrid approaches—can deliver performance results. And by providing government employees with more flexibility, government employers may have better outcomes when it comes to attracting and keeping workers at a time when public employers are really struggling to compete with the private sector."

That strong performance hasn't come without stress. Two-thirds of surveyed government workers said they feel more pressure to perform well and prove they are valuable. However, 92 percent believe their supervisors trust them to get their job done, and as a result, employees are more invested in projects' successful outcomes. Three-quarters of workers said that since the pandemic's start, they have been more committed to quality outcomes, and nearly the same reported feeling more supported by their supervisors.

"The challenge going forward for government employers will be to sustain the positives that have emerged during the pandemic while finding new ways to best manage employee performance as the future of work continues to evolve," Jezior says.

When asked what they need to be successful, 44 percent of survey respondents said training and development. They also called attention to clear instructions from their team leads, feedback forums, and opportunities to engage with their colleagues. They likewise said their managers could improve their skills in empathy and understanding, clarifying expectations for success, using technology and tools for team building, and relaying workers' roles in achieving organizational goals. Those are all areas in which talent development professionals can support.

About the Author

Bobby Lewis is a writer for ATD; [email protected].

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