Civil Service Commission approves pilot program for more telework by N.J. employees

At time when attraction and retention is key, officials say program will allow state to better compete for talent

In an effort to help state agencies better compete with the private sector for talent, the New Jersey Civil Service Commission on Wednesday voted to approve a pilot program empowering state of New Jersey departments and authorities to establish a telework program for employees.

The pilot program will last one year and apply to all state departments and authorities, with an implementation deadline of July 1.

The pilot telework program establishes general parameters for all state departments and authorities to follow when developing their department-specific telework policies. Parameters include:

  • All departments and authorities will be required to offer a telework program of no more than two working days per week based on operational need;
  • Appointing authorities should make available flex-time schedules and/or alternate work programs for employees who are not eligible for telework when operational needs allow;
  • Employees will be required to engage in an application process to determine eligibility. Both employees and managers will be required to complete telework trainings as part of the approval process;
  • Significant discretion shall be given to appointing authorities to consider operational needs when determining telework schedules for eligible employees;
  • Each department will be required to consult with relevant unions when developing its telework plans.

Gov. Phil Murphy said telework is a big part of the future of work.

“Telework will accelerate the modernization of New Jersey’s state government to reflect the evolving workplace landscape,” he said. “Our union partners have been integral to the creation of this telework pilot program. Through collaboration, we can continue to build a workforce equipped to handle the demands of the modern workplace.”

It’s a workplace the state was forced to adopt during the pandemic, Civil Service Commission Chair and CEO Deirdré Webster Cobb said.

“During the height of the pandemic, we witnessed state employees successfully continue to deliver critical state and public services while teleworking,” she said. “As we witness changes around the world in the landscape of how we work, it is important for us to adapt in order to attract and retain qualified state workers.”