Remote work, previously referred to as telework, is a management option that allows qualified state employees to work from home, or a state office location closer to home, one or more days a week. Properly trained employees and supervisors are equipped to implement a successful telework agreement, which can increase productivity, improve morale and help recruit and retain high-value employees.
The State of Arizona Telework program was first launched as a pilot program in 1990, with a goal of improving air quality by reducing commute-related pollution as required under ARS 49-588. Following the success of the pilot, the program was formally established through executive order in 1993. The current executive order mandates implementation within every agency, board and commission, with a goal of reaching 20 percent participation among state employees in Maricopa County.
Significant program changes in 2020
At the onset of the COVID-19 public health emergency, state agencies quickly implemented broader use of remote work sites. Seeing improved efficiency and cost savings during 2020, the Governor's Arizona's Connected Workforce Initiative has helped to move the State of Arizona toward developing a remote work culture.
Revisions to the state remote work policy (ASPS/HRD-PA5.01) published in December 2020 replace the previous telework policy, which was designed for employees who worked remotely one or two days per pay period. The new policy reflects changes to make the program more flexible and includes provisions for virtual office arrangements. The policy is a general framework for remote workers in all state agencies and does not attempt to address the special conditions and needs of all individuals. Agencies are encouraged to develop their own policies and procedures in alignment with the state policy to meet the needs of the agency.
To reflect the changes to the program and policy, the remote work training and remote work agreement were updated in 2021. The new computer-based training includes an employee academy; a leadership academy for supervisors who are leading a team that includes remote workers is under development.
Likewise, the remote work agreement has been redesigned in a digital environment. The links on the right-hand side of this page offer additional information regarding the remote work program.