Report: Virginia’s remote workforce has tripled since pandemic

It’s no secret that the pandemic has caused an increase in remote working in the D.C. region.

But a new report by Virginia’s Department on Human Resource Management says the state’s remote workforce has tripled since 2019.

As of September, 15,338 state employees work remotely at least once a week. They account for more than 60% of all employees who were allowed to work out of office — a figure nearly three times that of 2019, according to the report.

Nearly a third of these remote workers only do so partially, with 32% of state employees working remotely once a week.

Just 7%, or 1,712 employees, are fully remote.

Since 2019, the state has also expanded the number of employees able to telework — growing from 15,399 to more than 23,000 as of September.

Between March 2020 to July 2022, “telework increased significantly … due to the COVID pandemic, and the required implementation of mitigation strategies to reduce workplace exposure to the virus,” the report said.

Today’s remote work landscape in Virginia is starkly different than that of three years ago. In 2019, only 1 in 4 state employees were allowed to work from home. Now, it’s about 4 in 10.

The report’s data isn’t the only way to back up state employees’ affinity for remote working.

In July, after Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin vastly rolled back the state’s telework policy, more than 300 employees from five state agencies resigned.

Most of the exodus came from the Virginia Department of Transportation, which lost 183 employees after the change to the telework policy. Critics of the revised policy said it ignored the needs of agencies that had previously allowed telework.

Lauren Hamilton

Lauren Hamilton is an Associate Producer at WTOP and a graduate of the University of Maryland. She enjoys covering the intersection of arts, culture and social justice in local communities. She began as an intern with WTOP in the summer of 2021.

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