GSA offers free telecenter trials

Federal Telework site

Officials from the General Services Administration chose an especially opportune day, with the Washington, D.C. metro region covered in snow and ice, to offer a 60-day free trial of its telework centers.

The centers, meant for federal agency employees, offer access to computers, telephones, other office machines and meeting facilities. For agencies that take part, they offer 15 locations in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. Intended to fulfill federally mandated telework goals, they offer shorter commutes for employees and could potentially reduce congestion in the city.

However, they cost about $26 per employee a day, and some agency managers have been reluctant to authorized employees to use them, said a GSA spokeswoman. "Some managers resist trying the centers, apparently, because they say they're already paying for an office," the spokeswoman said. "One thing that prompted GSA to offer the trial period is to show the cost is minimal for increased productivity."

The free trial is for first-time uses and runs from February 1 through March 31.

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