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REE Work-Life Programs

REE Telework Program

The REE Telework Program allows employees who meet defined eligibility criteria to request a telework agreement allowing them to work from home or other approved alternative work site. The REE Telwork Program is governed by the USDA Telework Program Departmental Regulation (DR) issued on January 30, 2014. Each REE agency may have published additional instructions or Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). For more information, contact the appropriate REE Telework Program Policy Contacts.


REE Telework Program Policy Contacts

REE Telework Program Policy Contacts




Email Address


Liz Parker
Work/Life and Wellness Program Manager



Mari Gomez
Work/Life and Wellness Program Specialist



Pat Cleveland
Operations Support Specialist



Lori McPherson
Supervisory Management Analyst



Melanie Gladics
Deputy Chief of Staff



Kim Whittet
Management and Policy Specialist


In addition, ARS has established a network of local contacts to serve as a first-line points of contact (POC) for routine program questions, eligibility determinations and notifications, routing of telework agreements, and updating the TElework Database (TED). The local ARS POCs are shown in the following chart.

ARS Local Telework Program Points of Contact




Email Address

Administrative Officer

Varies with Location

Varies with Location

Varies with location


Elizabeth Jackson



Tangele Terry



Irene Fortson



Chantel Brown



Edna Taylor



Lynda Jensen



Rita Keeling



What's New?

  • REE P&P 402.5 v2, dated 03/28/2012 has been rescinded as of (DATE).  The USDA Telework Program Departmental Regulation (DR) will be the only policy for REE.    

  • WebTA Coding Instructions.
    With the issuance of the new Telework DR on 1/30/14, the WebTA coding instructions have changed.  The change impacts only core teleworkers.  Effective with Pay Period 07 (ended 04/19/14), all employees in ARS, ERS, and NIFA  should code their time as follows:

    • Core teleworkers will use code 01-01 Reg Time-Telework for regular and recurring telework listed on approved core telework agreement.

    • Core teleworkers will use code 01-01 Telework-Other to record telework not listed on an approved agreement.  This includes in-lieu of, additional or unscheduled telework. 

    • Ad Hoc/Situational teleworkers will continue to use code 01-01 Telework-Other for all telework. 

Forms & Templates


Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)


Training Materials

  • Telework 101 for Employees: All employees must complete this training prior to beginning to telework.  The training need only be completed one time.  This training is available in AgLearn.

  • Telework 101 for Managers:  All supervisors of teleworkers must complete this training prior to approving telework agreements or supervising teleworkers.  This training is available in AgLearn. 

NOTE:  The above two courses were developed by the Office of Personnel Management and are also available on the website.  We encourage employees and supervisors to complete the training in AgLearn to create a permanent record of completion.  However, if AgLearn access is not possible, you may take the training at this site.  Be sure to save a copy ofthe certificate of completion and provide it to your AgLearn Administrator, or you will not get credit.

Additional AgLearn Training:  There may be many other courses in AgLearn applicable to building specific skills needed to be an effective teleworker.   Also, professional development is considered a valid use of work time if you need to telework in an emergency situation and run out of planned work to do.  Supervisors and employees should explore the inventory together to determine which courses might be added to an Individual Development Plan (IDP).  Examples might include:

  • Leading Teams:  Managing Virtual Teams
  • Various software courses, such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Office Communicator, etc.
  • Quick Talks:  Pat Lencioni:  Building Teams in a Virtual or Matrixed World
  • The Manager’s Pocket Guide to Virtual Teams
  • Virtual Collaboration Enabling Project Teams and Communities
  • Virtual Teams that Work:  Creating Conditions for Virtual Team Effectiveness
  • Let’s Talk Telework
  • Making Telework Work:  Leading People and Leveraging Technology for High-Impact Results
  • Telework and Social Change:  How Technology is Reshaping the Boundaries Between Home and Work
  • Telework for Government Employees
  • Exploring Self Development
  • Time Management:  Planning and Prioritizing Your Time
  • Managing Communications in a Virtual Team
  • Telecommuting Basics:  Communication Strategies for the Remote Employee


USDA Telework Program Goals and Reporting

  • USDA FY14 Telework Program Goals

  • Telework Reporting
    • REE Monthly Reports:  Provided by Mari Gomez to the Department during the first week of each month, this report details eligibility and approved agreements statistics, which the Department uses to calculate REE’s status against USDA Telework Program Goals.
    • USDA Monthly Telework Management Reports (TMRs):  Provided by the Department to the USDA Telework Program Managers.  These reports show the telework participation metrics, together with the metrics reported by each individual agency (see REE Monthly Reports above). 
    • Internal REE Quarterly Reports to REE Administrators and Senior Leaders:  Mari Gomez prepares these reports after the conclusion of each quarter.  These reports provide a snapshot of progress against USDA Telework Program Goals below the agency level along with suggested strategies to improve telework metrics. 
  • TElework Database (TED):  TED was a successful collaboration between REE telework coordinators and ARS’s OCIO.  TED houses key telework program statistics.  The database is updated primarily by ARS Administrative Officers, their delegates, and REE Telework Coordinators.  Mari Gomez mines TED data to create the REE monthly and quarterly reports and a variety of ad hoc reports.


Other Useful Telework Resources – Site jointly maintained by Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and General Services Administration (GSA).  Contains link to Telework 101 for Employees, if access to AgLearn is not yet available for new employees who need a telework agreement.   Also provides OPM policy guidance, reports and studies, and other useful telework information. - Public/private partnership focused on demonstrating the value of mobility and telework, and serving the emerging educational and communication requirements of the Federal mobile/telework community. The organization facilitates communication to more than 33,000 Federal IT directors/managers, CIOs, CHCOs, telework managing officers, and key stakeholders – all focused on building a sustainable and effective mobile workforce.

Telework Enhancement Act - Became law on 12-07-2012; legal foundation of current USDA Telework DR.

USDA Connect Work-Life and Wellness Community – News, current issues, and many good training and other resources on telework and other work/life programs.  Well worth registering and the time to visit.  

Telework Readiness Tips

Links to Recorded Webinars

Provide your feedback on telework to the ARS Telework Team:  Of course, you may also send any comments to, as we move forward with the expansion of the ARS Telework Program.

Last Updated: 05/16/2014