Gov Careers

By Phil Piemonte

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About that telework thing

The Office of Personnel Management dutifully reported this week that “nearly all” agencies had complied with the first deadline of June 7 laid out in the Telework Enhancement Act, that is, to figure out if you can telework — and to tell you so in writing.

At the same time, a survey by the Telework Exchange seemed to indicate that about 84 percent of agencies had determined the eligibility of employees (OK, that’s reasonably close to “nearly all”), and that 76 percent (generally understood to be less than “nearly all”) of agencies had notified all employees of eligibility.

That means that if the survey is reasonably accurate, roughly three out of four feds have been told if they are eligible to telework.

So, unless you work at one of those agencies that OPM Deputy Chief of Staff Justin Johnson said might “go through the cracks” regarding the June 7 deadline, you probably already know if you are eligible.

Of course, knowing about your eligibility to telework and actually being able to do it are two different things. Agencies still have to put the finishing touches on their telework policies, train everyone involved (including your boss), make sure technical support is in place, and so on.

So it could be a while.

At the same time, it will interesting to see how it all plays out — to watch what happens when teleworker wannabes finally have the chance to do it, to observe how management handles it, and to add up how much money it actually saves when broadly implemented.

But what might be most interesting is to see what the folks who have been hammering federal employees do and say once all these telework arrangements are up and running. Reading down a list of the benefits of telework (less time missed, savings on travel expenses, better continuity of operations, etc.), telework would seem to be a budget cutter’s dream.

But from what we’ve seen from these anti-fed types over the course of the last year, something tells us to wait and see.

Posted by Phil Piemonte on Jun 10, 2011 at 12:13 PM


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