(KCEN) -- The Pentagon is ordering over 300,000 furloughed civilian employees back to work this week, a surprise move that could substantially reduce the impact of the government shutdown.

More than 90 percent of the employees who were told to stay home are expected to return to work today.

That's under a decision made by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that the workers are needed to support the readiness of the military.

The action, supported by members of both parties, will leave about 450,000 of the federal government's 2.1 million civilian employees on furlough.