Get a Life

By Judith Welles

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Telework beat goes on

The Office of Personnel Management gave its annual report to Congress, that presents data for calendar year 2005. As is often the case with telework, there was good news and bad news.

It was certainly good to know that agencies deemed 70 percent of the federal workforce eligible to telework. But only 6.61 percent actually do telework. Still, that small percent is inching up.

The leading barriers to telework were concern about office coverage, organizational culture, and management resistance. To overcome the barriers, 55 percent of agencies said they would conduct management training and 44 percent were planning employee training. That's a good start, but more agencies need to be involved.

Employees in General Schedule (GS) grades 12, 13 and 14 represented the largest number of teleworkers. Few in lower grades telework. Maybe that's because they are the support team and even though most of their work is done on computer or telephone, bosses feel uneasy unless they see them in the back room.

Still, OPM Director Linda Springer observed that with more senior employees, who occupy most management positions, taking advantage of telework, "It logically follows that they are setting an example by their personal use of telework." Let's hope so.

Posted by Judith Welles on Jun 19, 2007 at 12:13 PM


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