It may not have the headline grabbing attention of the Occupy Movement, but the fact that more than 25,000 federal workers have pledged to participate in Telework Week March 5-9 has the makings of something more than usual publicity event.
As my colleague Deanna Glick reports, this event is the latest in a series of initiatives just another to inform workers and leaders about telework benefits and encourage the practice. But here’s hoping that more federal employees will join in.
Few would dispute the economics of telework: The General Services Administration estimates that if federal workers telecommuted at least one day per week, federal agencies could increase productivity by more than $2.3 billion annually. Agencies could also save potentially billions more on office space, electricity and supplies.
But its also brings a welcome benefit to workers: According to the Telework Exchange, which is sponsoring the March evebt, the average teleworker will save $63 during Telework Week by not commuting. This translates to $3,276 a year (per average worker) in commuting savings. With annual pay raises stuck more less in neutral, that kind of savings for federal employees isn’t easy to ignore.
But as most of us know, despite a renewed push by President Obama and the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010–only 20 percent of the federal workforce report they are currently teleworking, according to a national survey of 266,000 federal employees released by OPM last year.
That’s why this upcoming week is actually an important one for even more feds to participate in…to make it clearer than ever that telework can and does work for agencies and federal employees.
I’d be really interested to learn more about how this turns out, I’ve never heard of such a thing. It seems like the idea of telecommuting is really impacting the job market right now. More than ever being a self-starter is going to be important to securing a job because employers will want independent people.
They are almost up to 40,000 pledges and I’m sure that they will go over 50,000 this year. National Telework Week has almost reached the tipping point. It’s a great way to experiment for those just beginning, a great way to practice in case of emergencies, and a way to make an annual commitment to telework more often.
Make your please at http://www.teleworkexchange.com/teleworkweek/ today!
By the way, the Brits just celebrated their own version of their telework week – called the “Anywhere Working Week” – this week.
Announced late last year with the support of MP Norman Baker, the seven-day event to highlight the personal, business and environmental benefits of flexible and remote working has a fistful of big-name founders, including Business in the Community, Microsoft, Nokia, Nuffield, Regus, Vodafone UK and Transport for London, and it is also supported by the UK Department for Transport, WWF and the Trades Union Congress.
Find out more at
To highlight some of the challenges we face here in Canada, the site to sign up for this initiative is blocked by our firewall. In fact, Govloop itself is stripped down to the point that I can barely navigate.
@Scott – One more reason why you should telework, so you can use your own personal device and not rely on government devices. I know what you are saying because I have issues with social networks too.