A Tennessee Higher Education Commission survey of its employees found most would like to continue working from home after the pandemic ends.
State Senator Paul Bailey said more discussion will be needed before making such long-term decisions.
“I’m assuming that we’ll go through each and every department, especially even THEC and look at those state employees that can still be very proficient and work from home and maybe allow some of that to continue,” Bailey said. “At the same time, post-COVID I’m sure those that are required to be in an office setting or in a classroom will have to do so.”
Several lawmakers across the Upper Cumberland have complained about the timely return of phone calls during the pandemic. Months after COVID began, Nashville-based employees still refer to not having ready-access to phone and email messages as a reason for not getting back to residents. One lawmaker said he walked through a state department and found a ghost town.
Bailey said any move to make more full-time employees remote would mean ensuring that top-notch customer service is provided. Bailey said this is a top priority for any state department.
“Tennesseans are not only our constituents but they’re customers, and so customer service is first and foremost,” Bailey said. “That would definitely be paramount in my opinion, as far as moving any state employees full-time to being able to work from home or remotely from the office.”
Bailey said the state has experience with employees working from home, prior to COVID.