What will you do with your Furlough Days?

Since it is looking like furloughs are going to happen, I’ve been thinking about what I will do with my newly found “free time.”

I admit the first day I will probably relax a bit and tackle my personal to-do list; but over the long term, assuming furloughs continue long term, that seemed somewhat unfulfilling. I think I may go volunteer at our local animal shelter for a few hours on those days.

Most Federal employees are Feds because we want to make our world a better place. We could still do so, despite the awful situation we are in. I admit there is some irony to my choice. We’ve been told specifically we cannot come in to our federal government jobs (“volunteer”) on furlough days, we cannot even be in a travel status on furlough day. But here I am choosing to volunteer that time for a function of my LOCAL government. Hmmm. It still seems like a good idea to me. What are you planning?

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Scott Florack

If you believe what you read in the Federal Times, it says:

“..she can’t even get hard information, such as what will happen to employees at her base who have to take a furlough day while on travel. (By the way, employees on duty travel forced to take a furlough will still get reimbursed for their per diems.)”

The lack of information is unsettling..

Terrence (Terry) Hill

Not sure about my personal furlough situation, but I plan to volunteer with local non-profits, if possible. I also plan to spend more time on myself – exercising, reading, planning my next career, etc.

R J Parry

I will be preparing for my return to the states and retirement. After 31 years total federal service, I am tired of the politicians screwing with pay, benefits and time off. Looking at spending as much time as I have available to volunteer…

Spencer W. Clark

At EPA, our Emerging Leaders Network has been discussing organizing a day of community service during the furloughs. Thanks for putting this on GovLoop. We absolutely hope that this idea will spread!

Randi Salkowitz

I have 22 years of mess and clutter accumulated throughout my house. And while I would love to report that I would be doing something noble such as volunteering my time to help others… Instead, I have purchased a large box of heavy-duty contractor trash bags. Let the de-cluttering begin!

Elenna C Sayers

I plan to spend more time with my daughter and if possible volunteer at our local homeless shelter. It all depends on how the furlough days work out.

Jeffrey Levy

I’ll probably spend some time on myself. I tend to work considerably longer hours than 40/week anyway, and I do some volunteer work already. All of that adds up, for example, to me rarely hiking these days.

As to the question of travel expenses, I go straight to the source (OPM) . Here’s what an addendum to OPM’s guidance says:

Q. Must agencies cover travel expenses during a furlough day, if an employee’s travel

status requires his/her stay to include that furlough day?

A.Yes. Agencies must provide per diem or actual expenses to employees whose travel

status requires a stay that includes a furlough day.

Pat Alford

On my furlough days, I’ll be busy trying to tackle some of the home projects I won’t’ be able to afford to pay someone else to do because of the reduction in income!

Marian Henderson

Our state government employees have been furloughed 1/2 day to 1 day per month for the last 3 years. I use my time for appointments so that I don’t have to be away from the office when I’m not on furlough.

Samuel F Doucette

Help around the house, especially by providing some relief to my wife who is a stay-at-home Mom with three kids under six. If/when I start driving her crazy, then I’ll figure out what to do outside the home on my furlough days.

Benjamin Vasquez

I think I will use it to my advantage. Use them in conjunction with RDO’s and make the most of it. Put all negative aside, for what can I do about it anyway, and just enjoy the day. Kind of like leave without pay. Too bad I cant just accumilate all the days I will have to take and be off for a long period of time. “Vacation With Out Pay”.

Ginny Ivanoff

I have been preparing financially and my partner, he has been unemployed for over a year, just started a new full-time position – we will be ok. The extra days off will go towards my garden and a couple small home projects, maybe volunteer a few daytime hours to the local museum. I will also have more time to work on some online courses for my post-Fed career.


I plan to use it as motivation to start up a side business. I’ve got several biz ideas that have been cooking in my brain for so long and I have just never put the pedal down. The reduction in income may be that kick in the pants I really needed.

P. Rana Stewart

I will be totally honest, I am going to truly love not sitting at the desk… on the other hand, preparing to leave the FED world and return back to the MEDICAL world… I can even have a 2nd job without someone telling me, I better not work a 2nd, even though you are reducing my paycheck…hummmm…. and starting my non-profit business is taking shape, and always volunteering, but that’s what I do weekly…. I LOVE it!!

Marion" Mick" Mickles

I plan on spending more time in the garden. My favorite pass time. Working in the green house getting seeds and flowers in pots in time for the spring thaw.