More than 7,200 out of 8,500 state employees have been teleworking amid the coronavirus pandemic. About $6 million in federal CARES Act coronavirus aid money equipped them do to so. Some state agencies' employees now are "hoteling," or sharing office space on a reserved schedule.
State agencies also are considering ways to save costs on office space to meet Gov.
"We are not sure at this point what the impact will be in the governor's budget," Office of Management and Budget Director
A conservative calculation puts lease savings at $1.2 million a year, or nearly 20 percent of the $6.6 million spent annually on the 438,000 square feet of office space state agencies rent in
Some moves already have occurred; the
"Because of teleworking, they gave up that lease, and the landlord actually wanted them to give it up because
And before the pandemic, the 2019 Legislature budgeted $970,000 for the Supreme Court to convert its
'Like Flipping A Switch'
"For us it was like flipping a switch," he said. Nearly all his staff were teleworking, with some still in the
There were some technology hurdles, but "we were still completing audits, producing reports through the entire pandemic like nothing changed," he said.
Auditor's staff returned to the office
If Gallion is reelected, his office in 2021 might let a rented space in
"In the auditor's office we're always looking at ways to better use our resources, our space, the appropriations that we're authorized," Gallion said. His office's local government audit team was even able to add a couple of extra clients this year because of improvements to the audit process amid teleworking.
A June survey of state agencies' preferences to implement teleworking and hoteling found that 58,000 square feet in the
"Those are opportunities for us to relocate (agencies) back to the
General-funded state agencies are not charged rent to be housed on the
And several state agencies work in state-owned buildings outside the Capitol Grounds, such as the
Discussions of state employees' continued teleworking could surface in the Legislature, which passes budgets and laws and could direct how and where state employees work.
All state leases have a clause that if the Legislature doesn't fund the rent, the lease becomes null and void or agencies can renegotiate with the landlord, Boyle said.
"I imagine the Legislature is going to be open to some workplace flexibility, but I really believe that the Legislature is going to see value in having a physical office where employees spend most if not all of their time while at work and that we adopt policy that allows some flexibility in some cases," Mock said.
"The new workplace allows team members to work from home, on the road or in a satellite location for all or part of their work week," Nowatzki said. "This creates more flexibility and higher job satisfaction, as well as savings for the taxpayer."
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