Telework embrace widens

Although 65 percent of federal agencies say they are prepared for telework, a good number still score below average in enabling remote work, according to new research.

Nearly one-fifth of respondents in Telework Exchange’s 2012-2013 Telework/Mobile IT Almanac gave their agency a “C” grade for telework readiness, while 24 percent dubbed their agencies’ preparedness efforts as utter failures.

A little more than one-fifth of federal employees currently telework, and that number is expected to keep climbing. Nearly 60 percent of respondents foresee more regular teleworkers, and 45 percent anticipate more part-time mobile workers in the next two years

Despite an executive order that directed agencies to submit proposals by December 2011 to cut costs related to issuing mobile devices, only slightly more than half of respondents say they have a plan in the works to do so.

Agencies with a plan cited pooling mobile purchases within the agency; migrating from desktops to mobile devices; and cloud computing adoption as some avenues to take when slashing costs related to mobility efforts.

Other cost savings tied to mobility efforts come from the workforce itself. The report said most federal teleworkers are currently paying for their phone, Internet access, mobile apps and printing supplies. Agencies are more inclined to pay fully for telephony (26 percent) than Internet access and printing supplies (both 17 percent).

The survey polled 152 federal IT professionals in February 2012. Seventy percent of respondents work in the federal civilian sector, and 30 percent cited the Defense Department or the intelligence community as their employer.

About the Author

Camille Tuutti is a former FCW staff writer who covered federal oversight and the workforce.

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