Trump Sending Employees Back to the Office After Years of Telecommuting

In Economy, Environment On
- Updated

About a quarter of workers at U.S. companies now dial into meetings, consult with clients and do a multitude of other tasks from their laptops at home, as employers seek to cut real estate costs and keep their staffs content in a red-hot job market.

The federal government, though, is calling its employees back to the office.

After a big push toward telework in the Obama administration, President Trump’s government is scaling it back at multiple agencies on the theory that a fanny in the seat prevents the kind of slacking off that can happen when no one’s watching.

The about-face began at the Agriculture Department in 2018, after Secretary Sonny Perdue was angry to discover that an employee he needed to meet with was working from home, according to three administration officials. In response, he slashed by half a robust program used by tens of thousands of employees.

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