Newsom Tells State Employees Working Remotely to Return to the Office 2 Days a Week

Newsom Tells State Employees Working Remotely to Return to the Office 2 Days a Week

The California Capitol in Sacramento on March 13, 2024. (Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for National Urban League)

Sophie Li

Sophie Li

4/12/2024

Updated: 5/21/2024

California state employees will be required to work in the office at least two days a week starting June 17, according to the governor’s office.
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration sent out a memo to the 240,000 workers April 10 announcing the new requirement, saying departments’ uneven approaches to returning to in-person work “have created confusion around expectations and are likely to exacerbate inconsistencies across agencies and departments.”
“This approach will ensure all agencies and departments experience the benefits of in-person work, while still affording staff the benefits and flexibility of telework,” Cabinet Secretary Ann Patterson said in the memo.
The June timeframe does not apply to departments that have already announced an earlier implementation date, according to the memo.
Also, the administration said requests for more than three days of remote work will be evaluated case by case.
While remote work was crucial during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s now important to transition to a hybrid model that optimizes both working conditions, the administration said. Ms. Patterson highlighted the benefits of in-person work, including “enhanced collaboration, cohesion, and communication, better opportunities for mentorship, particularly for workers newer to the workforce, and improved supervision and accountability.”
The governor had previously encouraged state workers to return to the office but had not officially mandated it.
Some workers voiced their opposition, expressing concerns that the commute time required for traveling to the office will hinder their productivity. Others have pointed out that the commute will also increase their costs.
Since the pandemic, downtown areas have been hit particularly hard, as work-from-home routines have led to a significant increase in office vacancy rates.
Last August, the governor revealed plans to convert unused office space in three government buildings on the Capitol Mall in Sacramento into at least 400 affordable housing units.
However, as of now, no timeline for the construction has been released.
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Sophie Li

Sophie Li

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Sophie Li is a Southern California-based reporter covering local daily news, state policies, and breaking news for The Epoch Times. Besides writing, she is also passionate about reading, photography, and tennis.

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