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How telework improves employee accountability

The oft-cited concern that teleworkers have no accountability is dead wrong, says one reader.

The reader was responding to a debate topic posted as part of the FCW Challenge, a joint FCW-GovLoop project to spark debate about key topics in the federal IT community.

Here was thesis we put out for discussion: “If you take the Results Only Work Environment (ROWE) directive to its logical conclusion, every government employee should be able to work from anywhere, including home, but also the road. But agency managers will never give up their need for command and control.”

But agencies have no cause for concern, writes John Smith.

We have over 2500-3000 teleworkers a day. We can provide more accountability for teleworkers than ANY manager can for a worker in a cubicle. This idea that they need to have control is absurd. How often do managers actually make sure their users are at their desks and working all day? Do they honestly spend all day policing their halls? The logging and accountability of a sound teleworking system will tell you when the users connect, if they worked or did not work and is considerably more accountable than seeing an employee walk through the door then, for all they know, play solitare all day. Ultimately, is the work getting done or is the work not getting done? Are you getting your 40 hours or not? Today's teleworking systems can provide that data.

What do you think? Check out the conversation here.

You can also read more about the FCW Challenge here.

Here are the other topics up for debate:

Government social networks are Towers of Babel, doomed to topple.

The Open-Government Plan is Vaporware 2.0.

Acquisition 2.0 will give ethics officers the heebie-jeebies.

A mandate for the cloud is wishing for pie in the sky.

Cybersecurity: This is a job for McGruff the Crime Dog.

Posted on May 07, 2010 at 12:18 PM


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