Considerations for eligibility

On April 22, 2024, HHS released the updated Instruction 990-1 Workplace Flexibilities Policy. NIH OHR's Workplace Flexibilities websites and resources are in the process of being updated due to recent policy changes. We appreciate your patience as we update our resources and release communications related to policy implementation.

Employee considerations for remote work

The ability to participate in the Workplace Flexibilities Program is intended to facilitate, not impede, the successful accomplishment of work. As such, not all positions will be eligible to be remote. Before requesting approval for remote work, consider the following:

General remote work considerations

  • Are you comfortable monitoring your productivity and ensuring deadlines are met?
  • How do you feel about attending meetings when you are not physically present?
  • How will you take the initiative to remain an active part of the hybrid workforce?
  • Have your researched how a remote work arrangement could potentially impact your pay and/or benefits

Remote work environment

  • Can you create an environment at your approved alternative worksite (i.e. your home) that will allow you to focus on work and minimize personal distractions?
  • Will you be able to maintain personal and professional boundaries when your home is also your workplace?
  • Will you maintain a professional appearance while working remotely?
  • If applicable, do you have adequate dependent care?
  • Have you discussed how often, if at all, you will be able to travel back to your work unit’s primary worksite when considering remote work?

Work schedule

  • How will you uphold your scheduled tour of duty, ensuring you are not working less or more?
  • Are you willing to shift your hours of work to be available during normal business hours, if your remote work location is in a different time zone and there is a need to do so?


  • Are you comfortable using various forms of technology to remain connected?
  • Can you obtain a reliable, high-speed internet connection?
  • Will you ask for a remote connection if one is not offered for a meeting?
  • Are you comfortable talking on the phone or through a video call for extended periods of time, on a regular basis?
  • How would you deal with technology failures, such as poor phone connections or VPN issues?


  • Do you have training needs that will not be able to be accommodated remotely?
  • Do you have concerns about showing others that remote work is effective? If so, how do you plan to overcome this?
  • Do you fully understand your supervisor's expectations, and the requirements if your workplace flexibilities arrangement is terminated?
  • Are you prepared to maintain and build customer relationships as a remote worker?

Supervisory considerations for remote work

Upon receipt of a Workplace Flexibilities Agreement for an employee requesting remote work, supervisors are encouraged to be flexible when considering each request, provided it continues to meet the agency's needs and does not negatively impact the mission.  Supervisors should consider the following:


  • Can the employee’s set of job duties be accomplished remotely?
  • Has the employee demonstrated that they are able to work independently with little supervisory oversight?
  • Does the employee meet any IC/Office minimum PMAP criteria for remote work eligibility?
  • What tools are available to help the employee manage their workload/deadlines and to support a hybrid workforce?
  • How will the employee be kept informed about office policies and procedures?
  • Will you be able to ensure the employee is provided with an equitable and consistent workload with those onsite?
  • Have you discussed with the employee your expectations for this arrangement, and what will happen if this arrangement is terminated?
  • How many remote work arrangements can be accommodated in the work unit?
  • Are you applying the remote work standards across the organization in ways that are consistent and based on clear standards and guidelines?
  • Have you discussed how the employee should contact you in case of an emergency?

Work schedule

  • What hours of work does the employee anticipate keeping?
  • Are there specific hours when he/she must be available (i.e. time zone considerations)?
  • How should the employee communicate any changes in their schedule to you?
  • What are your expectations for their participation in meetings?
  • Have you established a schedule of regular meetings to check-in?


  • What technology will be needed to ensure the remote worker can fully participate in meetings and other office activities?
  • Will the employee need administrative rights to any databases? Should any existing rights be terminated?
  • How will security needs be met remotely?
  • Can you ensure meeting materials are provided in advance on a regular basis?

Other considerations

  • Will the IC/O or employee pay for phone and/or internet service?
  • What supplies will the employee need and how will they be provided?
  • Are there financial impacts, such as travel costs? Note that local travel would be based on the remote duty location, and per diem and other expenses would only apply when the employee traveled outside of their new commuting area – i.e. to the primary office.
  • Does this position support local remote and/or non-local remote?
  • Are there other hidden financial costs, such as shipping work materials to and from the employee’s remote duty station?