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Survey: More feds choose telework for the time savings, not work-life balance

When employees are asked what they like most about telework, many bring up the ability to enjoy greater work-life balance. But according to a new survey by FedScoop, many IT professionals are all about the more practical aspects of working virtually.

In the survey, almost 90 percent chose the time-saving component of working remotely over more time with family (56 percent) as their main reason for desiring it, and 72 percent said they like telework because it decreases the carbon footprint. 

FedScoop polled 300 IT executives from both government and industry to get a sense of the evolving perspectives and practices of telework. The majority of the respondents (54 percent) were federal employees, most of whom worked for an organization with 5,000 or fewer workers.

Other interesting findings include:

90 percent of federal managers trust their team to telework, but only 61 percent of federal employees said their managers allow them to work remotely.

- 91 percent of federal employees are interested in telework, and 97 percent feel they are qualified to do so.

- 43 percent of the surveyed federal employees said their current equipment does not support telework. For private sector respondents, that number was 13 percent.

- 61 percent of federal employees said technology can fully replace traditional meetings.

- 81 percent of federal employees said they have implemented or tested a continuity of operations plan.

Posted by Camille Tuutti on Jan 31, 2012 at 12:19 PM


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Reader comments

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 SOTE Contractor Federal Agency

Telework is a choice for Feds. But when that email shows up on my blackberry, I have to telework even if it is after dinner, on weekends, on holidays, on sick leave, when I should be shovelling my way to the grocery store. It doesn't matter. My contract bosses just cannot say no to a Fed. I am still supposed to show up at the office full time to help contract management kiss Federal A$$. Overtime doesn't exist, compensation laughable, scum of the earth contractor should be happy they have any job at all, they are a dime a dozen, Feds can replace them on a moments notice. Now get back to work all of you scum of the earth contractors.

Mon, Feb 6, 2012

Love the comment above..."Work is a thing you DO, not a place you GO." You hit the nail on the head...let's get with the times already!

Fri, Feb 3, 2012 Jorge Yinat

It appears the Europeans have doen a great deal of research on this. In a recent article published at the Human Relations journal, Institutional explanations for managers' attitudes towards telehomeworking by Peters and Heusinkveld, investigate further reasons for this phenomenum in Dutch organizations. They showed that normative
and mimetic pressures affect managers’ beliefs, which are reflected in their perceptions of the relative (dis)advantage of telehomeworking.

Wed, Feb 1, 2012 Owen Ambur Hilton Head Island, SC

To me, this is the most surprising (and encouraging) finding: "61 percent of federal employees said technology can fully replace traditional meetings." If the focus can be shifted from process (e.g., F2F meetings) to results (getting things done), that will be good. Hopefully, the StratML standard can make a contribution toward that end.

Wed, Feb 1, 2012

Time Savings is key to realizing any benefits from telework and work-life balance is a lot more than more time with the family. I would expect the importance of more time with the family to depend on the worker's age and family connections while we would all appreciate more time for a variety of things including family, friends, hobbies, training..... For myself I want a job that allows me to work whenever I have the time and wherever I am at the moment. In other words I get to develop and modify the structure of my day with emphasis on what is most important to me.

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