OPM report generates more debate about telework

The big news in telework last week was a report from the Office of Personnel Management that shows an overall rise in telework interest and use.

Based on agency-reported data, OPM’s report states that the number of teleworkers increased by 11,046 from 2008 to 2009. That means more than 10 percent of eligible federal employees now telework.

On the downside, that represents only about 6 percent of all federal employees. But on the upside, those numbers only account for official teleworkers, and the number of feds working from home without formal telework arrangements appears to be much higher. Read more about that in Alyah Khan’s report at FCW.com.

As part of Federal News Radio’s coverage of Telework Week, Chris Dorobek interviewed Ronald Sanders, senior executive adviser at Booz Allen Hamilton and former chief human capital officer of the intelligence community. Sanders outlined the six key ingredients of a telework strategy. Check it out here.

Managers who still feel iffy about telework might want to check out this report issued last summer by the Partnership for Public Service. The report, notes Federal News Radio, found evidence that teleworking can help improve employee performance and job satisfaction.

Is telework “fraud, plain and simple”? Or does it actually reduce wasteful behaviors because technology makes it possible to monitor employees every minute? Washington Post readers expressed those extreme sentiments and everything in between in response to the Post’s article on the OPM report. You can join the conversation here.

Meanwhile, the Daily Press, in Hampton Roads, Va., notes that one Virginia congressman wants to make it financially easier for employees to telework. Rep. Rob Wittman introduced a bill during Telework Week that would provide tax breaks for telework expenses up to $1,000, the Press reports.

Here are other recent telework stories from FCW.com:

Government lags in providing telework-enabling tech to employees, study says

Some federal agencies to participate in telework event

OPM: Discuss telework options before weather hits

About the Author

John Monroe is Senior Events Editor for the 1105 Public Sector Media Group, where he is responsible for overseeing the development of content for print and online content, as well as events. John has more than 20 years of experience covering the information technology field. Most recently he served as Editor-in-Chief of Federal Computer Week. Previously, he served as editor of three sister publications: civic.com, which covered the state and local government IT market, Government Health IT, and Defense Systems.

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Reader comments

Fri, Feb 25, 2011

To the writer above, as a general rule, you are not supposed to do work on a non-government computer as a Fed. So the reality is yes, the government is supposed to buy appropriate equipment for the purposes of telework, which in most cases is a properly configured laptop with VPN. This being said, the problem with many agencies is not that their isn't the capability technologically but rather a reluctance by managers to allow telework. My wife works at a shop where there is no telework, but for whatever reason everyone has a laptop. The reason why they have no telework is because the senior manager had one bad experience with an employee not working, and as a result now no one can get it.

Thu, Feb 24, 2011

There is a disconnect between the Telework Act of 2010 and the requirement for HSPD-12 (PIV) use of the federal ID for authentication. Unless federal agencies are willing to buy laptops for all staff that might telework, the HSPD-12 requirement will prevent using employee-owned equipment from being used. Since most agencies cannot affort to supply laptops to all employees, this will greatly compromise the telework effort.

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