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How to get your federal agency up and running again

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Government is open again and it's business as usual. Well, maybe not so fast.

Yes, furloughed federal employees have returned after a 16-day shutdown, rejoined those who remained on the job and have rolled up their sleeves in the hope of making up for lost time as quickly as possible.

But it is unrealistic to assume everything will be back at full speed from the get-go. It just doesn't work that way. Many employees are discouraged and perhaps even bitter about the experience, and the backlog of work in many cases may be overwhelming.

A number of government leaders made a good start by offering generous words of encouragement and support as employees returned to work on October 17. President Obama led the way, using his post-shutdown speech to single out "all the dedicated and patriotic federal workers who've either worked without pay or been forced off the job without pay these past few weeks."

"Thank you. Thanks for your service. Welcome back. What you do is important. It matters," the president said.

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