It seems Elon Musk isn’t the only one ready to look for new workers after old ones wanted to work from home instead of returning to the office. More than 300 state employees in Virginia have left the government since new Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin told them to get back on the job in person in May.
According to 8News, the ABC affiliate in Richmond, the employees were spread across five separate state agencies. Most of them – 183 – were formerly with the Virginia Department of Transportation.
The Virginia Department of Health was next with 78 resignations, while the state Employment Commission added 37. The others include seven staffers who left the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and six formerly of the state Department of Emergency Management.
Under Youngkin’s directive, the governor said he could support telework “where appropriate” and with the approval of senior leaders, but otherwise he expected workers back in their offices on July 5.
8 News reported last month that the Virginia Government Employees Association released a survey of 400 state workers that showed most wanted to delay the return to in-person work for at least another two months. Their primary reasons were gas prices and the need to find child care.
But Youngkin declined to give in.
“We know across business, that collaboration improves and service improves,” Youngkin told 8 News last month. “I think this is a very natural and good process that will in fact restore an office-centric environment.”
In the news: Biden Sells Off America’s Strategic Oil Reserves, And It Seems Hunter Is Making Bank Off It
This week, Rob Damschen, Youngkin’s spokesman, told 8 News, “The governor is excited to welcome the Commonwealth’s workforce back in person and is encouraged by their continued dedication to serving Virginians. We know an office-centric environment fosters collaboration and teamwork and provides an even greater level of service for all Virginians.” 8News also noted that under former Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, Virginia was much slower to return to in-person work than its neighbors. Both the state of Maryland and Washington brought workers back a year ago.