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By Phil Piemonte

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Are qualified feds being denied teleworking opportunities?

The Office of Personnel Management has made it a point to voice strong support for telework. And Congress is working on passing legislation that will make it easier to do.

But according to the results of OPM’s 2010 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, released this week, a sizeable share of feds who have the kinds of jobs that would accommodate telework say they are not allowed to do it.

According to governmentwide unweighted results collected from almost a quarter million respondents, 23.7 percent of the feds surveyed indicated that “I do not telework because I am not allowed to, even though I have the kind of job where I can telework.”

That seems like a lot.

Of course, a lot of people may give an answer like that to question that is phrased: “Please select the response below that BEST describes your teleworking situation.”

But how many of those folks actually have requested to telework and been denied?

We’d appreciate any insights …

Posted by Phil Piemonte on Jul 14, 2010 at 12:13 PM

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Reader comments

Mon, Sep 19, 2011 FAA Technical Center

In spite of the organizational culture goals for FY11 for the FAA (ATO) (AJW-11) to support workplace flexibilities and my positon being approved for telework, I was denied to telework without a written basis. Managers need to be more supportive if they want to booste morale. Let 'em Telework!!

Mon, Jan 31, 2011 FAA Technical Center

I work for the Department of Transportation. If anyone should allow telecommuting, it should be the DOT. It should not matter whether the employee has a long commute or not. Telework should be allowed if the job permits an employee to do so. It makes for a positive work environment for both the team and the individual. However, my manager (AJW-17) is totally against it. The belief is if I cannot see you, then you are not working. However, you can have people come to work faithfully everyday and surf the internet. I think all employees should be given the opportunity to telework. Finally, we also face retaliation if we even think about submitting a request to telework. Now that is sad.

Tue, Aug 24, 2010 Mechanicsburg

I have been teleworking for about 15 months now, I was only allowed to start with Monday's, Friday as telework days, then in 3 month increments it was upped to Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. My command's policy is being in the office 1 day every 2 weeks. I asked for the extra day teleworking and was denied. I was told I wasn't getting enough face time.....for what? Then shortly there after I received a memo that my position was no longer compatible for teleworking and I was cut back to Monday's and Friday. My job duties nor my position changed, except that I received more of a workload, which is quite compatible for teleworking. There are a few people in my office that do not like teleworking and are making it so that those of us who would like to do it can't. If OPM is as strong a supporter of telework as they say they are, they need to be monitoring the individual commands and making sure that telework is being allowed to those who seek it. An individual survey to each employee would be a quick way to see who is interested and who is not. There are ways to "weed out" those that would not/could not be trusted to work from home but with 26 years in the Gov. and a very good work record I think this is deplorable! We have the means to help reduce government spending, especially in these times, and we are refusing to let people do it.
Where are the GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS??? A very distraut TAX PAYER who sees this (not allowing telework) as wasting even more of my money.

Tue, Jul 20, 2010 Fred Seattle

I'm an engineer and work in an engineering office of the FAA in Seattle. We have approx. 85 engineers in our office. Great job. Great location. I live 60 miles away and have wanted to telework for many years, but our management absolutely resuses to implement a telework policy. I drive 30 miles each way to catch a train to work the remaining 30 miles. Over 5 years, at a rate of 2 days per week, this has cost me 19,608.52. Ive generated over 27,000 lbs of CO2. Personally, I believe the Department of Transportation should be setting a teleowrk example instead of shutting it down for eligable employees. I have a grievence pending arbitration and am awaiting these results. Further, I would like to see managers comply with the existing laws and not try to work around them.

Mon, Jul 19, 2010

I applied and was approved to Telework every other Friday per pay period. Then my scheduled changed when I joined a detail at 50%. Now even though I can do more for the detail at home (because I end up being on conference calls a lot, and those are disrupting from a cube setting), I get hassled any time I want to do Telework on my approved day. I agree that I have heard stories of folks who have abused Telework, but I think if it can be proven, those folks should be suspended or fired anyway. There are too many hard working people out there who need jobs who wouldn't abuse it. And those who abuse it ruin it for everyone else. I think one of the bigger problems with Telework is that it is too difficult in the Federal Government to fire someone who is lazy, incompetent, etc.

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