Remote Work


Remote work is an arrangement in which an employee’s official duty station is an approved alternative worksite. The approved alternative worksite may be inside or outside the local commuting area of the Agency worksite and is typically, although not always, the employee’s residence.

Remote work is not an employee entitlement, but rather a workplace flexibility that may be available dependent on a variety of factors and with supervisory approval. 

Remote Work is an increasingly common arrangement at not only the NIH but across the federal government and in the private sector.

Differences between telework and remote work

An employee who has a remote work arrangement permanently works from an alternative worksite that is not a NIH owned or leased facility. An employee who has a telework arrangement works from home on a regular or ad hoc basis but reports to the agency’s official duty station at least once a week/two days a pay period. This distinction is important because a remote worker’s official duty station is the alternative worksite, and they receive locality pay based on that duty station. Remote workers may still be eligible for telework with supervisory approval, if they wish to regularly or on an ad hoc basis work from an additional alternate site (i.e. a co-working arrangement). Travel back to their work unit's primary worksite is covered by travel policy.

Benefits of remote work

Remote Work is a workplace flexibility that can help NIH retain employees who would otherwise leave their current positions. One of the most common reasons employees request a remote work arrangement is due to family responsibilities – for instance, their spouse is being relocated for work. Many are thrilled to learn they are able to continue working for the agency. Establishing a remote work arrangement also benefits the agency, as it eliminates the need to recruit and train a replacement. Remote workers also report improved work/life balance, feeling more productive, and having an increased sense of loyalty to the agency.


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