Biden Wants Government Employees to Stay Home Indefinitely and Still Collect Their Paychecks
Now that the pandemic has started to wind down and more people are getting vaccinated, it is time for many of us head back to the office. If you were fortunate enough to keep your job, you have probably been conducting a fair amount of business over Zoom meetings for the past year or so. However, there are a number of people who may never have to go back.
Joe Biden is apparently considering something fairly drastic. If he has his way, the work from home option may become a permanent fixture for federal employees. What would this brave new world look like, though? Business Insider has more on this developing story:
“The White House is considering making flexible working the norm for more federal employees after the pandemic, according to a report by The Washington Post.
The Biden administration is likely to change flexible working rules permanently so that more people can mix working from home with some time in the office, per the report.
President Donald Trump rolled back some remote-working policies introduced by Barack Obama.”
As has been discussed in the past, working from home is not always a feasible option. Manufacturing and maintenance workers do not typically have that choice. If you are someone who needs to be on-site to physically handle tasks, this is a conversation that may make your blood boil.
Meanwhile, the technical and communication sectors are a bit different. These types of companies may be able to benefit from scattering their workforce. The benefits cannot be realized unless the shift to remote work is handled in the proper manner.
The White House is looking to create a “hybrid” working model. While the parents who have been dealing with “hybrid” learning for the past year are probably having awful flashbacks, the adult world can probably handle things a bit better. Biden wants a model where federal employees are able to stay home if needed but they are still going to be asked to come into the office from time to time.
This model could have winners and losers, depending on how it is implemented. Employers benefit from hybrid strategies because they are not required to provide as much physical space for their workers. In fact, some of the costs that they are normally responsible for are quietly handed down to employees.
For example, the employee would definitely incur much higher utility bills each month. They would be on the hook for their own electricity, air conditioning, heating, all of the typical amenities that an office provides. On the other hand, these additional costs are more than offset by the savings that an employee enjoys by not having to come into the office each day.
They can eat at home, reduce their travel costs and the amount of stress that they have to deal with. There seems to be a huge appetite for this shift from the workers’ standpoint, as a recent poll shows that many would turn down a substantial raise in order to stay at home more.
It’s easy to see why this is the case. Think about the costs that are associated with enrolling a child in daycare. Any sane parent would want to avoid them if they could. Even a $30,000 raise (the amount mentioned in the poll) pales in comparison with the costs of daycare. Any decent facility is going to charge a few hundred dollars per child, per week.
Once you start doing the math, continuing to let parents stay home and deal with the realities of finding child care makes all of the sense in the world. The White House needs to start hammering all of these details out, as they can help taxpayers save money and create a better working environment for many. Of course, this is Joe Biden that we are talking about here. It’s going to be a long time before he decides to do anything sensible.