Get a Life

By Judith Welles

Blog archive

Walking the talk on telework

On the day that the Washington metropolitan area, especially Maryland, was ranked as the second worst place for commuters, right behind New York City, an agency head stated she would telework.

General Services Administrator Lurita Doan said she would lead by example to encourage managers at GSA to telework. When I asked about her plans, to my surprise, she said she will telework 2 days a month starting next week. She might telework more days if her travel schedule permits.

What might result if all Cabinet members and all program heads walked the talk like Doan and teleworked even on an intermittent basis? Would that spark many other managers to follow their leaders and try telework too?

Doan’s message to managers is, “Try it, you’ll like it.”

By training managers and adding performance metrics that cover telework, she wants to “incentivize” GSA to enable 50 percent of eligible employees to telework one or more days a week by 2010. Currently, 10 percent of eligible employees telework.

Security is the simplest piece, she said. Her hope is that as GSA moves to laptop PCs, employees and managers will consider telework. Targeted support from chief human capital officers will also be part of the approach.

A panel on eliminating management resistance to telework had a crowded audience at the 2007 Telework Exchange Town Hall. The benefits are well-known, said panelists, but persistence is the key to convincing upper management to allow telework.

After the session, an employee from the Army’s Acquisition Support Center told me that her performance plan requires her to increase the number of managers who telework. She thinks having managers talk with other managers who telework might help. Maybe having leaders telework could help, too.

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


  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.