Agency leaders, advocates see tipping point on telework

Federal officials, telework experts say government is ripe for making telework routine

After more than a decade of talk, the federal government may be ready to leap into telework.

At a town hall event hosted by the advocacy group Telework Exchange, federal officials and telework experts said the government is ripe for making telework a normal part of its work routine, rather than a neglected relative of normal on-site productivity.

The fact that a compromise version of the Telework Improvements Act of 2010 passed the Senate during the previous week didn’t hurt the upbeat predictions of the speakers. That measure, for the first time, would require agencies to develop detailed telework plans and authorize all eligible employees to telework 20 percent of their working hours.

Speakers at the event included Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry and General Services Administration Administrator Martha Johnson.


Related stories:

Senate passes compromise telework bill

Telework news index page


Johnson, speaking on productivity gains, said efforts at GSA have shown a “200-1,500 percent return on the initial technological investment after adopting a telework system.” Telework also cut employee fuel costs by about 39 percent, according to one study Johnson cited.

Johnson mentioned telework’s promise of cost savings and greater productivity, and said it is crucial to the government’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gases.

Telework “significantly reduces our own footprint both in employee commuting and in office space requirements,” Johnson said. “It also teaches us how to position our governmentwide policies to best reduce the footprint across government.”

“My first GSA experience was teleworking,” Johnson remarked, in reference to her first days in office. “I was sworn in by phone from my kitchen during the blizzard last winter. So, telework is still ‘who I am,’ and it is also for GSA about ‘who we are.’ ”

The telework bill is in the House, and the Telework Exchange and other backers are optimistic it will pass before year's end.

 

Featured

  • Contracting
    8 prototypes of the border walls as tweeted by CBP San Diego

    DHS contractors face protests – on the streets

    Tech companies are facing protests internally from workers and externally from activists about doing for government amid controversial policies like "zero tolerance" for illegal immigration.

  • Workforce
    By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

    At OPM, Weichert pushes direct hire, pay agent changes

    Margaret Weichert, now acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, is clearing agencies to make direct hires in IT, cyber and other tech fields and is changing pay for specialized occupations.

  • Cloud
    Shutterstock ID ID: 222190471 By wk1003mike

    IBM protests JEDI cloud deal

    As the deadline to submit bids on the Pentagon's $10 billion, 10-year warfighter cloud deal draws near, IBM announced a legal protest.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.