Going for telework

Take the FCW.com poll:

What’s the biggest obstacle to telework? Find a link on FCW.com’s Download at www.fcw.com/download.

For all the talk about telework and mobile employees, most feds still work in offices.

According to a recent Office of Personnel Management report to Congress, 119,248 federal employees telework, based on 2005 data. That is about 6.6 percent of the 1.8 million federal employees, the report states.

Another statistic from the General Services Administration shows that only 4.2 percent of eligible federal workers telework one or more days each week. Regardless of the precise figures, the numbers are relatively low.

Given those numbers, GSA set an aggressive goal when it announced last week that 50 percent of its eligible employees will telework by 2010. In a speech at a Telework Exchange Town Hall Meeting in Washington, GSA Administrator Lurita Doan said she wanted to set an ambitious goal.

About 10 percent of GSA’s eligible employees telework. The agency’s goal is to get that figure to 20 percent by the end of 2008, 40 percent by the end of 2009 and 50 percent by the end of 2010.

If GSA can accomplish that, it would be in a leadership position on telework. Other agencies have significant percentages of teleworkers, but they have fewer eligible employees. For example, nearly 55 percent of employees at the Consumer Product Safety Commission telework, according to OPM. However, the commission only has 375 employees. By contrast, according to the same OPM data, GSA has 12,480 employees eligible to telework.

Some people are skeptical about Doan’s telework goal, particularly because her tenure will end when the Bush administration leaves office Jan. 20, 2009 — a year before the goal’s 2010 deadline. But for other people listening to Doan, the announcement harkened back to the era of popular GSA Administrator David Barram, who set Flag Day 1996 as the date by which he wanted all GSA employees to have e-mail.

There are many telework issues ahead, but long-range goals — such as those Barram and Doan publicized — can be motivating.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.

Featured

  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group