In brief

In brief

  • Accenture and NASCA surveyed Chief Administrative Officers in 32 states for their perspective on the future of remote work.
  • States need to embed diversity, equity and inclusion into any initiative or strategy implementation to address workplace inequities.
  • CAOs will continue to play a key role in driving lasting change and accepting greater risk to implement new ways of delivering services.


Accenture and NASCA surveyed Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs) to better understand their views on the future of remote work, the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion, and their own role in driving innovation.

Key findings

  • State governments had to pivot quickly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Leaders, including CAOs, navigated the dual challenges of keeping state workers safe while continuing to deliver essential services to residents and businesses. The Accenture and NASCA survey suggests that flexible work styles offer advantages to government and workers—and these arrangements are likely to endure beyond the end of the pandemic.
  • When it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion, CAOs shared some of their challenges – including many staff lacking self-awareness about their own biases; senior/executive management teams that do not reflect the diversity of the workforce; and the need for data to help identify opportunity areas.
  • In the face of prolonged pandemic shutdowns, states were forced to accelerate digital transformation initiatives. Along the way, they proved what is possible at speed and scale—and the CAO has been at the core of this fast-paced innovation.

The future of remote work for states

As state workers went remote during the pandemic, CAOs observed two top practices: affording workers flexibility and giving them the right technology.

Diversity, equity and inclusion in government

A CAO’s top DE&I challenges include staff lacking self-awareness about their own biases and the need for data to help identify opportunity areas.

Innovating in a new era: The role of the CAO

CAOs will continue to play a key role in driving lasting change and accepting greater risk to implement new ways of delivering services.

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About the Authors

Kelly Rogers

Senior Manager – Public Service, North America


Bill Kilmartin

Former Comptroller – Commonwealth of Massachusetts


Jenny Brodie

Senior Manager – Health & Public Service, Research


Pam Goins

Executive Director – National Association of State Chief Administrators


Jamie Rodgers

Consultant – Public Service, North America

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