Missouri Lawmaker Wants Task Force to Monitor Remote Workers

Like most of the nation, Missourians began working from home a year ago when the pandemic started taking over. One Missouri lawmaker wants to make sure state employees remain successful while working away from the office.

Rep. Louis Riggs (R-Hannibal) said 90 percent of state employees who work remotely achieve job satisfaction. Riggs told the House Workforce Development Committee that he spoke with the Office of Administration (OA) about the efficiency and effectiveness of having state employees work from home during the pandemic.

“Remote work, work from home, work from anywhere, these are the terms we heard now and again before the pandemic struck us a year ago, but now they are in the forefront of our thoughts today,” Riggs said. “Work from anywhere, known as WFA, is here to stay and in a big way.”

Riggs is sponsoring House Bill 1178, which would create the “Missouri State Employee Work-From-Anywhere Task Force.” The task force would evaluate where Missouri stands as a state for work from anywhere.

“While we do not know what the future will hold, we can utilize this task force to make sure that we are moving ahead as a state workforce in a way that is efficient and provides our citizens with the best experience possible under the new normal,” Riggs said. “It’s one of the many takeaways from the pandemic experience that we need to come to grip with now.”

The goal of the task force would be to evaluate state workers to make sure they are working as efficiently and with the best practices. Riggs said his goal is to start with state employees and later move the task force to look at the private sector.

“I have talked with constituents in the private sector who have been working at home for the past year and have no plans to go back to their offices if they are not compelled to do so,” he said.

According to the legislation, the task force would be made up of 17 members, including six lawmakers, three members from each chamber, the commissioner of OA, four members appointed from the governor, three people appointed by the Missouri Speaker of the House, one member representing the Department of Economic Development, one member from the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development, and one member who represents a Missouri-based technology provider.

No one spoke in opposition to the measure during the hearing. The committee did not vote on the legislation which is needed before moving forward to the House chamber.