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Shapiro Administration Orders 2,300 State Gov’t Employees Back to Office

Gov. Josh Shapiro

Remember “Work From Home” and hybrid work?

That was so 2020-21.

Gov. Josh Shapiro is ordering over 2,000 state government employees to return to the office beginning on March 6.

The policy will require state workers to report to the office at least three days a week. The policy applies to all senior managers who work under the governor’s jurisdiction, the Governor’s Office staff and Cabinet members. None of the affected workers are union represented.

“We are eager to set the tone at the top in supporting practices that support workers and the communities in which they live and work,” said Secretary of Administration Neil Weaver.

“While the administration acknowledges the potential benefits of remote work, they must be balanced with the many benefits of being in the office, including improved opportunities for collaboration, mentorship, informal learning and overall well-being, as well as the sense of connection and shared mission that comes with being in the workplace. This rebalancing of telework schedules will allow us to enjoy both.”

Approximately 18,000 salaried employees telework either part or full-time while the remaining 54,000 typically report to their location on all work days.

Republican lawmakers have been calling for state employees to return to office for nearly two years. They said having workers work from home has impacted the quality of service Pennsylvanians receive from their state government and they have questioned its impact on worker productivity.

According to a Reuters story, a Microsoft report in September said the number of meetings per week had increased 153 percent globally for the average Teams user since the start of the pandemic – and 42% of workers multi-tasked during those meetings. Still, 85% of the leaders it surveyed felt they did not have confidence employees were being productive in a hybrid workplace.

Office of Administration spokesman Dan Egan commented that it also will increase mentoring and leadership development opportunities and better serve Pennsylvanians while continuing to offer flexibility for employees who have been permitted to telework.

House Republican Appropriations Committee Chairman Seth Grove (R-York) was succinct in his response to the announcement.

“People need to get back to work. COVID is over.”

14 Responses

  1. As a businesswoman, I have experienced both WFH and WFO both work really well because you can do permanent WFH or permanent WFO because you feel bored in one place that’s why we prefer traveling to see new things and meet new people. Changing old patterns and making things enjoyable is a good way of doing things.

  2. Terrible policy…

    It was commented that this was done because they want folks downtown to energize the economy. As someone who orders food 1-2 times a week from downtown restaurants, I’ll say mv view is if you can’t adapt and incorporate delivery services with your restaurant and you go out of business so be it…Welcome to capitalism! The world is changing, adapt or be left behind…

  3. The vendors (restaurants, gas stations, parking fees, …) near office building needs some business from state workers.

  4. I think both working from the office and working from home are good because it is the mind that gets bored working from a particular place. For some people working from the office is good and for some people working from home is good with hybrid mode companies should also give employees the freedom to work from the office when they want and work from home when want. After all, it is freedom and love that holds the employees.

  5. This is good but I believe working from home is still a good option because at home you’re more energized and happy when you have that state you give more. Working from the office has so many restrictions who should be concerned. I’m not saying that one is good than the other but there should be a hybrid mode.

  6. Poorly thought out strategy to work from home. You are now competing world wide for cheap labor and maybe not the State but if companies can get someone to do your job a lot cheaper remotely anywhere in the world you will be replaced. Not a good strategy.

  7. Most days I put in extra work during that saved afternoon commute time. On days I work from home, I usually work on average an hour extra. No more freebies from me.

  8. Absolutely agree. Everybody knows the workers are arguing for an easier lifestyle as they sit comfortably and sip a coffee while watching the doggies dancing on YouTube. Party is over. Back to work!

    1. Not true. I’ve been working at home for 6 months (first time in my 40 years of working) and I am more productive than ever because there are no distractions. Don’t be a hater just because you didn’t get the opportunity.

    2. Most people who have comments like yours are jealous. It’s been proven by my office that we are more productive. There’s too much socializing when people are in the office. I haven’t called off in 3 years. It’s a shame I’ll be using that sick leave now and costing the state more money and I sure hope we get snow days now. Working from home saves the state and taxpayers a lot of money. This a foolish move and it’s just politics. That’s all it is.

      1. My agency is showing more productivity on the 2/3 hybrid week than before the pandemic. Everyone in my office works through their former commute time. Millennials will be harder than ever to recruit and retain, in light of the deteriorated pension system and lower than market salaries. This was a job perk that benefitted the Commonwealth in many ways. Mentoring will improve but most factors are a net loss for the taxpayers and workers.


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