Gov Careers

By Phil Piemonte

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Telework—blessing or curse?

The move to implement telework in the federal workplace suffered a setback on May 6 when the House rejected the Telework Improvements Act.

Most significantly for rank-and-file feds, the bill, H.R. 1722, would require agencies to develop telework programs that allow employees to telework at least 20 percent of the hours worked in every two administrative workweeks (provided the nature of their work allows them to telework).

The bill gained momentum after two successive blizzards in the nation’s capital shut down most federal offices for days on end. While offices were closed, those with teleworking capability remained “on the job”—and helped prove the value of telework arrangements.

But now that the excitement has died down—at least for the moment—it could be time to think about the disadvantages of telework, too.

At first glance, the ability to work from home seems to an ideal solution for workers for whom family obligations or geographic distances pose daily challenges.

But with all the talk about work-life balance, is telework really helping to balance work with one’s personal life? Or does it serve to integrate one’s work with one’s personal life by bringing it right into the home?

You might want to ask some of those fortunate teleworkers who were lucky enough to work from home during the D.C. blizzards while their kids chased each other around the house for days on end.

Care to share experiences, anyone?

Posted by Phil Piemonte on May 07, 2010 at 12:13 PM


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