Gov Careers

By Phil Piemonte

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Telework—almost home

Speakers and participants at a watershed conference on telework this month in Washington seem to share the opinion that leaders finally see the advantages of allowing federal employees to work remotely.

At the event held by the Telework Exchange, federal officials and experts pushed the case that a new bill—a compromise version of the Telework Improvements Act of 2010—appears to be ready for passage, and it will be a game changer. The bill, which has cleared the Senate, requires agencies to authorize most employees to work a minimum of 20 percent of working hours.

General Services Administration Administrator Martha Johnson talked up productivity gains, which she said at GSA have shown a “200-1,500 percent return on the initial technological investment,” slashed greenhouse gas pollution, and cut fuel costs of participating employees by 39 percent—and is the only way possible to achieve the $3 billion real property cost cuts the president is aiming for.

Tom Fox, the director for government leadership at the Partnership for Public Service, told us that making sure that telework is available to employees is the only way the federal government can attract the young workers it needs.

One problem up to now has been that a lot of supervisors and managers still resist change—and think that the only productive employees are those who are in the office.

We’re sure a lot of you folks out there have been watching this legislation. And so have your bosses. What’s the talk around the office? We’d like to know. 

Posted by Nathan Abse on Oct 20, 2010 at 12:13 PM


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