Is Desk-Sharing Making It Impossible To Do Your Federal Job?

by | Sep 22, 2014

Last Updated December 20, 2023
Federal employee disability retirement

The federal government is creating a new system of “desk-sharing.” In the system, federal employees rotate from working at home to coming into the office, where their work space can change every time.

This is a new way of thinking and managing office space in the federal government. It may be beneficial for many. However, rotating and changing working conditions may also lead to difficulties for those with medical conditions and certain types of disabilities.

If you are a federal worker and are experiencing difficulty at work while performing your duties, you may want to learn more about federal disability retirement and whether it is right for you.

A Closer Look at How Desk-Sharing Works

A recent article in the New York Times outlined the new idea of desk-sharing, which is also called “hoteling.” In some agencies, federal employees must actually reserve work stations for when they come into the office

The bottom line: Many federal employees no longer have their own workplace. They must bring in their laptops and work wherever they can find a spot.

As the Times points out, desks are now bare of “family photos and children’s drawings of yesteryear.” Many federal workers are now “nomads,” moving from one office space to another.

At this time, only a small portion of the federal workforce is experiencing desk-sharing. However, use of the system could increase dramatically in coming years as agencies start pilot programs and determine whether it is cost-effective and workable in their respective situations.

Desk-Sharing May Not Be Right for Everyone

The transition to desk-sharing is due, in large part, to the need to save money on office space leasing. At the same time, the system can improve job satisfaction and productivity among some workers. Studies show that working from home increases employee happiness while reducing wasted time commuting by car. This can enhance work output.

While many people may enjoy the program, many others could encounter problems with it. In particular, workers with medical conditions could find it impossible to do their jobs if desk-sharing becomes a normal part of the work week. Changing from one desk to another could increase stress, decrease the ability to function and cause unnecessary troubles to some of our more vulnerable federal employees.

If you are a federal or U.S. Postal Service employee who needs special accommodations that would be prohibitive under a new desk-sharing program, then you may need to consider your eligibility for federal disability retirement.

Eligibility and qualifications for federal disability retirement benefits are specific and can be difficult to understand. This is why it is always helpful to discuss your situation with a legal professional who has experience in this area of the law.

For instance, at Harris Federal Law Firm, we offer free consultations to federal employees across the country. We can discuss how this important benefits program works and whether we can help you. If you would like to talk with us, simply call or submit our online form today.

Message us & find out if you qualify today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Recent Articles

Yes, You Can Work after Federal Disability Retirement

Have you looked at your Federal Disability Retirement annuity, a knot of uncertainty coiling in your stomach as you question - will it be enough? Have you ever wondered if you could keep working after being approved for Federal Disability Retirement? You can work...

The 4 Key Benefits of Federal Disability Retirement

Imagine a lifeline, a beacon of hope for your future when you're struggling with an injury or illness that’s impacting your federal job. That lifeline is Federal Disability Retirement. If you can't perform at least one of the essential functions of your role, you...

6 Key Reasons Why Your Disability Retirement Application Was Denied

Have you recently applied for Federal Disability Retirement, only to receive a denial? The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is denying more initial applications than ever. However, it's important to understand that a denial does not mean the end of the road for...

Federal Employee Resources

Our ever growing library of federal employee resources give you the knowledge you need to make smart choices about your future.


Frequently Asked Questions

Get the answers you need on-demand, from a team of federal employee benefits professionals.

View FAQ

Federal Benefit Webinars

Twice per month we host webinars to help federal employees better understand their benefits and answer their questions LIVE.

See Webinar Schedule

Benefit Guides

From guides to detailed charts, these educational resources will help clarify confusing federal employee benefits topics.

See our resources