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Federal Workers Show Resilience During the COVID-19 Pandemic

May 5, 2021

The latest U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) survey results of the federal workforce provide evidence that despite the life and work challenges posed by COVID-19, the federal workforce remains resilient, regardless of the circumstances. The latest survey, 2020 OPM Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) (PDF), continues to provide federal leadership with critical information to assess whether, and to what extent, workplace conditions characterizing successful organizations are present in the agencies. Westat has supported the OPM FEVS since 2006 to ensure it meets best survey and research practices and that its findings are effectively reported and disseminated.

This year’s survey was administered during the COVID-19 pandemic from September to November 2020. Over 1.5 million employees across 80+ federal agencies were invited to participate in the survey. For the 2020 survey, OPM added items to assess numerous topics on how employees perceived support and leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A few prominent statistics include

  • 85% responding affirmatively to “My supervisor supports my need to balance work and other life issues” — showing that supervisors recognized the need to balance work-life challenges during the pandemic.
  • Over 80% of respondents agree that the people they work with cooperate to get the job done and their agency is successful at accomplishing its mission.
  • A record 59% of employees teleworked every day during the pandemic compared with only 3% before the pandemic.

“Westat works with OPM to ensure we can deliver meaningful and timely results taking into account the challenges facing the federal workforce, from the impact of sequestration in 2019 to COVID-19 in 2020,” notes Westat’s Naomi Yount, Ph.D. “Further, we provide results down to the manager level so that individual offices can determine areas for improvement and areas of success.”

Westat reports findings through standardized reports and offers agency leaders access to their data and reports using WesDaX, Westat’s online reporting and analysis tool.

OPM’s press release: OPM Releases Government-wide Results from 2020


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