Federal employees were more engaged and satisfied with their jobs in 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic forcing Federal agencies to shift to majority telework, the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) 2020 OPM Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (OPM FEVS) shows.

OPM added new COVID-19 specific questions to this year’s FEVS survey, which 624,800 employees completed from 82 different Federal agencies.

“Despite the unprecedented workplace challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Federal workers adapted quickly to their new realities, continuing to work on behalf of the American people, taking on additional and sometimes new work to ensure critical services have been available to the public,” Acting OPM Director Kathleen McGettigan said in a press release. “The OPM FEVS annual survey helps us hear directly from the Federal workforce about ways to better support them. This feedback is an essential tool in our efforts to improve the experience of workers across the government so they can best serve their communities.”

According to the survey’s results, overall job satisfaction rose from 69 percent in 2019 to 72 percent in 2020. As for telework satisfaction, the majority of respondents were content teleworking – 44 percent of respondents said they were very satisfied with the telework program in their agency and 35 percent said they were satisfied.

Not surprisingly, telework rose exponentially during the pandemic. At the peak of the pandemic, 59 percent of respondents reporting teleworking every day, compared to just 3 percent prior to the pandemic. At the time respondents completed the survey, 47 percent reported they were teleworking daily.

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Additionally, Federal employees have even more faith in their coworkers to get the job done. Eighty-four percent agreed that their coworkers “cooperate to get the job done,” compared to 77 percent the year before.

Overall, employee engagement rose four percentage points – from 68 to 72 percent – as did the number of employees who would recommend their organization as a good place to work – from 67 percent to 71 percent.

This Federal employee snapshot shows despite a year of hardship, Federal employees continued to serve their agency and were more engaged and satisfied doing so remotely.

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.