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By Judith Welles

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Life in the fast lane

Federal employees found the latest and greatest at FOSE and it wasn't only about technology. A talk on "Life in the Fast Lane," or telework, drew a crowd.

On March 20, Microsoft's training sessions on Vista were packed.
There were several white vans decked out with various companies' latest wireless broadband mobility technology. Radio frequency identification and biometric security technology were popular sessions at booths.

Motorola wanted me to know about its new MC-70, an enterprise digital assistant that is a small handheld computer, scanner, Bluetooth radio, Wi-Fi, cellular phone and more that will soon have an attachment to read fingerprints, too. It's meant to be useful for those in the field.

I joined the crowd listening to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office speakers discuss "Life in the Fast Lane," that is, telework. The highly structured USPTO experience is a model for government.

Telework is helping the agency to recruit and retain examiners. Eight-five percent of the trademark attorneys work from home four days a week. In addition, 600 patent attorneys use the hoteling system. They reserve a desk using Deskflex instead of having an office in which they come into headquarters once a week.

They all get Dell D-series laptops PCs and special printers. ISP costs are covered, too. Part of the reason managers go along with telework at USPTO is because "everything can be measured," said Danette Campbell, program coordinator.

Hearing Campbell say, "We believe employees can work any time, any where," sounded to me like the latest and greatest.

Posted by Judith Welles on Mar 22, 2007 at 12:13 PM


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