Letter: USPTO has 'hoteling' program, not a flexible telework program

While "Home is Where the Work Is" [Feb. 18] offered much good advice on home telework, it unwittingly highlighted one telework program's hypocrisy by portraying the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office management as "nurturing" its employees' telework.

Many patent examiners are very happy with the USPTO's "hoteling" program, which requires them to give up their agency office in order to telework each week for four days and commute to the office for one, sharing or "hoteling" in communal office facilities. However, many other patent professionals would prefer to keep their agency office space and have the flexibility to telework for two days per week, as the article showed one USPTO manager doing -- but the agency refuses to allow thousands of rank and file employees to do so. Why? In denying two days per week of telework, the USPTO says it is limiting employees so that they go into the hoteling program which saves agency office space.

Illustrating your article with a happy manager teleworking two days per week when the USPTO is rejecting that right for thousands of highly skilled patent professionals was misleading to your readers. The USPTO will have a truly successful telework program when it expands telework
to improve employee productivity and efficiency, not to fix its facilities planning problems.

Sincerely,
Robert Budens, President
Patent Office Professional Association



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