Federal Eye: Eye Opener: Should the federal government close Tuesday?

Happy Monday! And Happy Snow Day (for most)! Washington area federal offices are closed today, which means the region's largest employer will keep most workers away from the office.

The decision marks the first time the government has shut down this year due to the weather and only the second time during the Obama
administration.

With roads impassable, trains and buses running on skeleton schedules and all major school districts closed, officials at the Office of Personnel Management deemed a Monday commute too dangerous, officials said.

But should the government even bother opening on Tuesday? It costs the federal government roughly $100 million in lost productivity and associated opportunity costs, but most schools will be closed, there's only limited public transportation service, most side streets will likely still be impassable and another 8 inches could call fall by Wednesday morning.

Click here to vote in the poll, "Should the federal government close on Tuesday?"

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Profile Photo Terrence Hill

I'm not really "off" today since I'm teleworking. It's a misnomer to say that the Federal Government is "closed." We no longer work in a clerical "factory" environment. It makes very little difference whether my office building is occupied downtown. Knowledge work can continue regardless of the weather.

Profile Photo AJ Malik

On a side note, if blizzards don't justify teleworking then perhaps nothing may. Federal, state, and local govs can continue to seamlessly operate as if staff is actually in the office via effective teleworking. Teleworking is especially useful when inclement weather, pandemics, or security concerns may be the flavor of the day, but also provides busy information workers with much need flexibility for work/life balance and commuting, not to mention reducing carbon foot prints. Teleworking adoption in the public sector has far to go, but perhaps, just perhaps, events like Snowpocalypse will motivate executives and managers, who are not stakeholders in teleworking, to seriously reconsider for the good of the order.