By Marcus Hill | 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — While COVID-19 wreaked havoc on day-to-day tasks for most Airmen, the 50th Force Support Squadron’s Civilian Personnel Flight continues to thrive during the process.
Though the base recently implemented guidelines to begin returning to normalcy, numerous Airmen continue to telework due to the virus, including the entire CPF.
“Our last in-person in-processing was March 13,” said Alisha Davis, CPF chief. “We had to wait to receive guidance from our headquarters on how to work around COVID-19.”
The CPF resumed the bi-weekly process April 13 after obtaining direction from headquarters and now use Zoom to fulfill their mission.
Traditionally, CPF welcomes new civilians to the base, reviews financial paperwork, provides an overview of the base, gives civilians a legal brief and tells them what to expect at Schriever Air Force Base. The team also advises civilians of when to get their common access cards, how to set up benefits and the time card process.
This process normally takes places in a group and requires two hours to complete in person. Davis said they usually in-process three or four civilians every two weeks. Since moving to telework, they’ve on-boarded 11 civilians and the process now takes 30 minutes for the entire group.
“I think it’s because we can focus more on the actions needed to onboard these individuals,” Davis said. “When we’re in the office, there are a lot of interruptions from walk-in customers, phone calls and meetings. With us teleworking, we’re able to focus on completing the actions.”
Due to the increase in productivity, Davis said CPF expects to quadruple its numbers for its third virtual session.
“This coming Monday will be our largest in-processing we’ve had – virtually or in person – with 17 people scheduled,” Davis said. “[We] may even have higher numbers by the time we get through this week.”
Davis isn’t the only CPF member pleased with the transition to teleworking. Joseph Allen, CPF human resource specialist, also enjoys the new process.
“[The] Civilian Personnel [Flight] has not missed a beat when it comes to bringing new hires on board amid the uncertainty surrounding this COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “One certainty is that Civilian Personnel will continue to bring new employees on board virtually, ensuring the safety of both new hires and civilian personnel contributing to the fulfillment of mission-critical Schriever vacant positions.”
During Zoom meetings, CPF views citizenship information, which can include a birth certificate or passport, and they use the video service to complete the process.
“We waited for guidance on how to take the oath because all new employees have to take the oath, just like on the military side,” Davis said. “Luckily, one of my staff [members] has the U.S. flag in his [home] office, so we’re able to administer the oath that way.”
So far, the process has gone so well that CPF may continue teleworking after COVID-19.
“We’ve had some discussions with that and I’ve seen a lot of productivity go up with teleworking,” she said. “We can’t remain full-time teleworking because we are a customer service organization, but I think we would like to incorporate telework on a regular basis so we can keep up this tempo.”