Government lags behind industry in telework opportunities

Less than one-quarter of federal workers surveyed telework exclusively or regulary

Private-sector information technology employees were almost three times as likely as their counterparts in the government sector to telework exclusively or on a regular basis, according to a report released today by media and marketing firm FedScoop.

Only 23 percent of federal workers surveyed reported telecommuting exclusively or regularly, as opposed to 64 percent of those respondents in the private sector, according to FedScoop. The report also revealed that 27 percent of federal IT employees who responded to the survey said they weren’t allowed to telework, compared to 3 percent of industry-employee respondents.


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FedScoop polled 110 federal and 67 industry IT workers about their thoughts on telework using both online and paper questionnaires. FedScoop reported that 93 percent of all managers surveyed were satisfied with work done remotely. The report added that 93 percent of federal government sector employees said the opportunity to telework would make working for an organization more desirable; 95 percent of the feds surveyed have a generally favorable opinion of telework.

FedScoop said the results showed that agencies aren’t “capitalizing on telework opportunities to the same extent as private sector organizations, and perceived organizational values may be affected.”

The report was underwritten by Intel Corp. and Cisco Systems.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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Reader comments

Wed, Jul 21, 2010 Robert Ft. Meade, MD

64% of private sector workers work from home? Really? Are you acutally claiming that 64% of the private sector work from home? On which planet? This is just more government math. I guess if you figure in the at home moms, kids off for summer vacation and the unemployed, this figure may come close, but otherwise, it is just another $800 toilet seat the tax payer is being asked to pay for. I challenge anyone claiming this 64% figure to explain how they came up with this number. The tax payers pay you to be at work, not on the golf course with a cell phone in case something comes up. Federal workers are not treated as badly or unfairly as they like to claim. If it is so much better in the private sector, then leave your government job and come on out here to the private sector. Then, you too can wait everyday for the pink slip to arrive because a contract was lost or cancelled. Most govies have no concept of real work. Put me in charge and 64% of them will be working from home; working on finding a new job.

Tue, Jun 29, 2010 Anonymous

Having teleworked for over 20 years, I get a letter from my agency telling me I have been terminated from working at home because 'my being "enrolled" in the telework program did not benefit the agency or it's mission. I find that reason to be absolutely ridiculous seeing as how my performance has always been exemplery and fully successful. Also, it shocks me that this agency can plagarize an OPM directive the way it did in my termination letter. I mean the least the agency could have done is worded my letter differently than the opm directive was written for termination. I was able to do more work and finish projects that had priority deadlines at home more so than at the office. Also, I was told the money spent on my cubicle is another reason I had to come in. Well, give me a corner or not, I don't need a whole cubicle, we have enough wasted room here, that I could use any of those areas. As for staying in communication with my supervisors and all other coworkers, I would either call them on the phone or there was always email. There was always an open communication line of one sort or another.

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