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Here are the latest OMB guidance to agencies on planning for their future workplaces, telling them to assess and incorporate lessons learned from high rates of telecommuting due to the pandemic.

This administration is committed to ensuring that the federal government is a model employer, to improving the delivery of federal services and the client experience, and to operating effectively and efficiently. As such, pursuant to OMB Memorandum M-21-25, Integrating Planning for an Enhanced Safe Return of Federal Employees and Contractors to Physical Workplaces with Personnel Policies and Work Environment post-reentry work, agencies are in the process of implementing and evaluating their post-staff reintegration policies and work environments following the conclusion of agency reintegration processes for safe and increased return of federal employees and employees of subcontractors. In addition, the agencies are defining the future of work and federal workplaces through the President’s Management Council (PMC) in coordination with relevant executive management councils, including the Director’s Council of human capital, the Chief Information Officer’s Council, the Chief Financial Officer’s Council. , the Council of Acquisition Directors and the Federal Real Property Council (FRPC). The PMC guides agencies in developing personnel policies for hybrid working, telecommuting and remote working; meet labor relations obligations; and supporting process to define various resource requirements as part of planning for the future of federal work, in accordance with OMB Memorandum M-21-25.

This memorandum discusses agency real estate resource needs and agency efforts to define the amount and types of real estate needed to fully implement the future of work in each agency.

Capital planning requirement to support the future of work

OMB Memorandum M-20-03, Implementing Agency-Wide Real Estate Capital Planning, requires agencies to develop an annual agency-wide real estate capital plan to define their real estate resource needs and integrate these needs into the agency’s annual budget request. On August 6, 2021, the OMB suspended the annual M-20-03 requirement to complete a capital plan due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

OMB M-21-25 memorandum directs agencies to consider “workspace/workplace utilization and mobility assessments, and opportunities to incorporate remote working and sharing of Spaces Between Federal Agencies in Mid- and Long-Term Real Estate/Real Estate Strategies”. Consistent with M-21-25, OMB expects agency decisions in these areas to be fair and based on values ​​that empower, respect and galvanize the federal workforce, while reflecting and emphasizing the trust and accountability of the American people it serves. When making decisions about personnel policies and work environments after reintegration, as well as the future of work and workplaces, agencies must be guided by how they can most effectively accomplish their missions. respective. Agencies should also consider general workforce and workplace trends, lessons learned from agency operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need for the federal government to be competitive for top talent as employers in the wider labor market. M-21-25 also includes an appendix from the General Services Administration (GSA) with considerations for agencies related to the future of federal workplaces.

This memorandum requires agencies to restart their annual planning process by developing and submitting their capital plans for fiscal years 2024 through 2028 to OMB and the Federal Real Property Board by December 16, 2022. Agencies submitted to the Chief Financial Officers Act 1990 (CFO Act agencies) are required to submit their annual agency-wide property capital plan by 16 December 2022. Non-CFO Act agencies are also required to complete their capital plan by this date, but are not required to submit it to the OMB.

The development of the capital plan should parallel and align with the development of the President’s annual budget request. The capital plan should define the real estate resources required for the immediate work environment after reintegration and in the context of the future of work. As annual capital plans are developed over subsequent years, OMB and the agencies will complete a comprehensive and accurate estimate of the real estate resources needed to fully implement the agencies’ vision for the future of the work.

To develop capital plans in the context of the future of work, agencies should keep the following considerations in mind:

• When determining future physical space requirements, agencies should consider agency mission and client needs, current and future workforce, and impacts on local communities. As outlined in the President’s Stewardship Agenda, agencies must reimagine their approach to the workplace taking into account lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as national workforce and workplace trends. work (e.g. hybrid work including on-site work, telecommuting, alternative work schedules, online collaboration, and remote work policies and practices) and incorporate these considerations into the next iteration of their capital plans completed in under M-20-03.

• Agencies should coordinate with their Director of Human Capital to assess the status of the agency’s post-reintegration personnel policies that support the future of work at the agency and their potential impact on the need for office space. agency-wide desktop.

• Agencies should coordinate with their CIO to assess the state within the agency of online collaboration tools, cloud-based software and cybersecurity to support a distributed workforce , including as demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the potential impact of these tools to agency-wide office space needs.

• Agencies should rely on evidence when making office space and capital planning decisions, including collecting and using data and information regarding the effects of personnel policies and procedures on the commitment of the employees in the execution of the missions and the use of the workspace. Agencies should coordinate with their evaluation managers, data managers, and performance improvement managers on building and using evidence to support data-driven evaluation and evaluation.

• Agencies should consider – for properties in which they reside that are in the custody and control of the GSA – working with the GSA as needed to support the development of their capital plans due in December. The GSA can help agencies develop national GSA portfolio plans for properties in the custody and control of the GSA, which can expedite the development of the investment plan.

• Agencies should closely follow the requirements of M-20-03 and generate their capital plan in full compliance with the development of the President’s budget request for fiscal year 2024.

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