Arkansas IT employees to telecommute
- By Jill Rosen
- Apr 26, 2000
Arkansas' information technology employees may be the first in the country
allowed to work from their homes, a move their bosses hope will help with
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 from one to five days a week.
Penny Rubow, the department's telecommuting project manager, says the
state needed a way to entice new recruits, as well as a way to hold onto
its current technology brainpower. They thought the ability to telecommute
would make a difference.
"If they 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 jumpstart 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 the various state powers that be, 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 — though they're fairly certain they're on the right track.
"We believe it will work for us," Rubow said. "We're sure of it."