Arkansas' information technology department recently joined a handful of other state IT offices that allow people to work from their homes, a move that managers hope will help with recruitment.
Arkansas' information technology department recently joined a handful of
other state IT offices that allow people to work from their homes, a move
that managers hope will help with recruitment.
The state's Department of Information Services recently began a pilot
telecommuting program for its staff. About 28 of the department's 300 workers
will be working from home one to five days a week.
Penny Rubow, the department's telecommuting project manager, said the
state needed a way to entice new recruits as well as a way to hold on to
its current technology brainpower.
"If [employees] can stay at home and work, it's a big plus for them,"
Rubow said. "Hey, I have a 45-minute drive to work, and if I didn't have
to drive in every day, it would be wonderful."
Another hope is that the program will rub off onto other state departments.
And if that happens, Rubow said, it may be possible to jump-start the economy
in the more remote parts of the state.
The department began researching telecommuting about a year and a half
ago. Much of that time was spent creating a policy and getting it approved
by various state officials, including the governor.
Employees in the pilot will work on programming, managing contracts, planning,
and design and research, Rubow said. Participants have the option of using
a government computer, and the state will pay for the installation of a
second phone line if needed.
The pilot runs to Dec. 31, at which point the department will assess
the results — although officials are fairly certain they're on the right
"We believe it will work for us," Rubow said. "We're sure of it."
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