Private sector can learn from feds' telework implementation

The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 has pressured government agencies to figure out more quickly such questions as how to determine if an employee is eligible to telework, putting the government in the rare position of being able to share some advice with industry, writes Jessica Stillman on

InfoStreet CEO Siamak Farah told the website that other lessons the government has learned, pertaining to the security of cloud computing and to worker expectations, can also instruct private businesses facing similar questions.

Regarding eligibilty, Farah offered a heart surgeon as an example of someone clearly not eligible to telework. But, Stillman writes, most employees are not so easy to assess. "While Farah’s example may make determining eligibility sound simple, the government’s experience shows this is actually one of the tougher aspects of implementing web work and an important foundation for a successful telework program," she writes.


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Reader comments

Thu, Jun 2, 2011 SOTE Contractor Federal Agency

Private companies (like mine) have already learned that Telework is optional and beneficial for Management, and manditory (and unpleasant) for the grunts.

Wed, Jun 1, 2011 Chris Maryland

The heart surgeon is clearly an example of someone that should be eligible for telework. When doing surgery the surgeon needs to be in the "office." However, when writing follow-up notes, reviewing x-rays and test results, these could be performed away from the "office." There are more than likely aspects of all jobs that could be performed at telework.

Wed, Jun 1, 2011

Many Real Life companies have been doing telework for many years, the Gov is a latecomer to the field. It is (probably) only because the political haymakers and maybe Joe Taxpayer want to be sure there are no "issues" that there is an issue now for the Gov, and the rest of us want to be sure that our personal data is not more spread to the wind than it already is (which is another issue involving, among others, the credit mongers and Social Security numbers). And speaking of "cloud" security, talk to any real security manager about the Chineese presence.

It all depends on what you are doing. My job does not lend itself to telework, although with the expenditure of sufficient funds and resource manipulation I can do it maybe 25% of the time (which looking at friends in Real Life jobs, that is what had to be done in many cases). But since I was not foolish enough to live more than 15-30 minutes from work and I chose to work in an area that is more conducive to living than most of the posters on this topic seem to have chosen, it is a moot point.

I think given how long Real Life has been doing this compared to the Gov that maybe the story ought to be worded the other way, the Gov can take clues from Real Life.......But then some folks would not be able to toot their horns and get paid at other's expense while reinventing the wheel, again.

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