This section will be updated with the latest news and information about the way we work at the Lab.

A Conversation on the Different Work Modes and the Work Mode Assignment Tool

The Future of Work team held a session on approaches to conversations about the four different work modes and a demonstration of the Work Mode Assignment Tool, now available to supervisors.

  • 00:00 - Intro and Session Overview

  • 01:56 - Demo of Work Mode Assignment Tool

  • 10:08 - When does the future of work begin? Why do we need to identify work modes now when physical presence on our sites is still limited by COVID restrictions for safety?

  • 12:51 - When does this conversation need to happen and who begins it?

  • 14:17 - What tools and resources does the Lab have to help me think about how to determine my and my employee’s work mode?

  • 17:23 - As a supervisor, what am I responsible for doing?

  • 19:25 - As a supervisor, why do I need to have a conversation with my direct reports about work modes instead of defaulting to what we did before the pandemic?

  • 20:55 - How are business needs defined?

  • 22:51 - As an employee, what if I have concerns with the work mode my supervisor has assigned to me?

  • 24:36 - How often should conversations happen about modes of work?

  • 25:54 - As an employee, what am I responsible for doing with regard to my work mode assignment?

  • 27:24 - As a supervisor, how do I determine what work modes are possible for a new job posting?

  • 30:11 - Once a work mode has been determined for my position, how likely is it that the work mode will change?

  • 32:10 - How does the Lab’s commitment to IDEA fit into the work mode determination process? What does equitable decision-making mean in this process, especially when individuals hold the same job title?

  • 36:13 - What are considerations for early career staff as it pertains to work modalities?

  • 37:31 - As a supervisor, why is it important for me to consider flexibility?

  • 43:36 - Will the Lab consider alternative work schedules as part of Flexible Work Options in the future?

Featured Resources:

Now Available: Flexible Work Tool Kit V 2.0 and Work Mode Assignment Tool;

Brown Bag Discussion on December 1

In September, an Interim Flexible Work Tool Kit was shared with the Lab community for supervisors and staff to read and discuss in preparation for selecting an appropriate work mode for each employee. An updated version of this toolkit, Flexible Work Tool Kit v2.0, is available and provides details about the four modes of work, considerations for supervisors and staff, and information about allowable expenses.

A Work Mode Assignment Tool is now available for supervisors to document work modes for each of their employees. As outlined in the Flexible Work Tool Kit, Area and Division leaders will determine which work modes will be possible based on what is needed to meet each area and division's set of unique business needs. Flexibility for work mode options can be provided when it is feasible. Work mode decisions may evolve as groups try out work arrangements and make changes over time. Transparency and ongoing dialogue will be key to successfully managing work modes over time.

The information captured in the new Work Mode Assignment Tool will enable work mode reports at the group, department, division, area, and Lab-wide levels. Find instructions for how to use the tool here.

The new Work Mode Assignment Tool will be demonstrated in a virtual Deep Dive session at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 1. A panel of subject matter experts will also review approaches to work mode conversations with employees. This session will be open to the Lab community and will be recorded and posted on this website for future reference.

Supervisors should enter a work mode for each of their employees into the new Work Mode Assignment Tool by Thursday, December 23, 2021, but no later than Friday, January 14, 2022.

Please send any additional questions to

Additional Resources:

HR Flexible Work Arrangements Resources for Supervisors

Frequently Asked Questions

Future of Work website

DOE Laboratories of the Future Workshop Series

Replay and Password: If you missed the event or would like to watch it again, please find the link for the recorded webinar below. If asked for a password, please use this password: Rw^5kP=R

DOE Laboratories of the Future Workshop Series "Effective Teaming and Virtual Collaboration"

Purpose of Workshop: The next event in the DOE Laboratories of the Future (LOTF) workshop series will be focused on effective teaming across the DOE laboratories and how we can best integrate new tools and mechanisms for virtual collaboration. Panel speakers will address:

· How do decision-making teams work together effectively?

· How can virtual collaborative tools help stimulate innovative collaborations?

· What are strategies for working remotely at the national labs?

· What new models of collaborative teaming can be adopted?

Panel Speakers

Dr. Nancy Cooke, Arizona State University – Effective Teamwork for DOE Laboratories of the Future

Dr. Gary Olson, University of California, Irvine – Virtual Collaborative Scholarship

Dr. Elaine Raybourn, Sandia National Lab – Strategies for Working Remotely

Dr. Francesca Poli, Oppenheimer Science and Energy Leadership Program – Championing New Models of Flexibility to Enhance Scientific Impact