Mar 10, 2020 - Health

SEC first federal agency to ask staff to work remotely over coronavirus

The SEC building in Washington, D.C. Photo: Mark Wilson/Newsmakers

The Securities and Exchange Commission emailed employees at its headquarters in Washington, D.C., Monday asking them to work from home after a worker with respiratory symptoms was told they could potentially have the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: The SEC is the first federal agency to take such action. It said it made the directive "effective immediately," which means people who work on the building's ninth floor must telework, out of "an abundance of caution," per the Washington Post, which first reported the news. "To the best of our knowledge, the employee remained asymptomatic during the employee’s time in the building," the SEC added.

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DHS' cybersecurity agency to test remote capabilities amid coronavirus

Christopher C. Krebs, director of the Homeland Security Department's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) will send many of its employees home tomorrow as part of a stress test of its telework system, so it will be ready in case the coronavirus makes more work-from-home arrangements necessary in the coming weeks, the agency tells Axios.

The big picture: The Office of Personnel Management recently urged federal agencies to "'immediately review' their telework policies, sign paperwork with employees laying out their duties, issue ­laptops and grant access to computer networks," according to the Washington Post.

Go deeperArrowMar 12, 2020 - Health

White House directs federal agencies in D.C.-area to maximize remote work

Acting Director of Office of Management and Budget Russell Vought. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The White House issued guidance Sunday night directing all government agencies to maximize their abilities to let employees in the National Capital Region work remotely as the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the country.

Why it matters: The guidance, issued by the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget Russel Vote, comes as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. tops 3,400, and Americans across the country prepare to spend months at home.

Remote work shift calls for fast footwork

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Air CEO Shane Hegde received a frantic call last week from New York nonprofit Robin Hood (not to be confused with the brokerage app). The organization needed to immediately finish moving all its digital assets to the cloud as it was suddenly sending employees to work from home.

The only solution: He dispatched an employee to Robin Hood’s offices to pick up more than 20 hard drives and upload their contents as fast as possible.