As someone who teleworks full-time and considers it a non-negotiable benefit, it’s a topic near and dear to my heart. Across government it would seem the tide is shifting in favor of telework, yet many employees still find barriers from management perception to lengthy delays in implementation. What about you – is telework a benefit you take advantage of, or that is available?
A decade ago, the idea of telework wasn’t even a consideration for many people, especially workers in the federal government. Presence was seen as a key aspect of employment and productivity, for supervisors as well as employees themselves.
Significant technological advancements and even recent steps forward in the adoption of cloud technology have thrown open the doors to telework opportunities, however, perhaps more so in the government than in other sectors. The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010, signed into law in December of 2010, requires federal agencies to establish policies allowing employees to telework to the greatest extent possible, as long as it doesn’t diminish agency operations or employee performance.
While such sweeping legislation might seem to imply that legions of federal employees would be abandoning their cubicles for their home office, it’s not quite that simple. Agency-wide surveys were recently conducted on telework eligibility, and despite the requirement, several federal agencies – including the departments of Justice and Housing and Urban Development – refused to participate.
So there’s far from a warm fuzzy concerning embracing telework.
Those working for private companies may be fairing slightly better, but not necessarily. Outside of tech zones such as Silicon Valley, telework isn’t exactly epidemic. This week the Telework Exchange, a public-private partnership organized to promote the cost-savings and other benefits of telework, is organizing its second-annual telework week, a week to garner pledges from federal employees to telework. This year they’ve obtained 67,000 pledges to telework and tout an estimated $5,347,980 in cost savings from those pledges. Telework Exchange cites both environmental and cost savings benefits. For those in the D.C. area, in particular, eliminating a lengthy commute and the need for expensive office space can pose a significant cost savings…
Read more, and share your thoughts on telework.