Overcoming Security and Productivity Issues – CDW-G Survey on Teleworking

There’s been a lot of discussion on teleworking since the passing of the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 earlier this month, but a survey from CDW-G and HP indicates that teleworking is already a big part of many of our lives. I recently posted this blog at FedScoop about the results of the survey.

As a frequent teleworker, I’m fortunate to reap the benefits of eliminating commute time and saving money on transportation. What’s more, as we get closer to the cold winter season, I’ll be able to work full days at home instead of being slowed down by snowstorms.

While federal agencies are still on the fence on telework programs, according to a recent CDW-G and HP survey working away from the office is already a way of life for our federal government employees.

I recently tuned in for CDW-G’s Webinar on the survey results on “The Challenges of Telework Security,” and learned that despite the lack of telework legislation, remote working is very prevalent. According to the survey, 89 percent of federal executives do some work outside the office and 27 percent do not spend time in the office at all. Sonny Gutierrez, security specialist with CDW-G, says that while the number of teleworkers is higher than expected, he thinks it can still go up. I agree with Gutierrez’s assessment – teleworking is not for everyone – but there are plenty who could benefit from working remotely.

Some buy into a misconception that working remotely could raise unwanted security concerns, but the CDW-G survey indicates that security is not among the biggest obstacles for federal workers. Only 14 percent of respondents said that security issues were an obstacle to teleworking, and the survey uncovered that mobile workers have learned to take additional security precautions to ensure that their computers and confidential data are protected like locking their screens while away from their computers. Our latest HP business notebooks also include biometric sensors, giving remote workers another way to ensure their computer security.

The survey also showed that over 30 percent of respondents see insufficient technology as the major obstacle to working remotely. With nearly 9 out of 10 workers accessing their e-mail and other files remotely, agencies have instituted policies and often work with companies like HP to ensure technology is in ideal working order to stay productive from home and content is safe. One example is our HP mobile thin client which offers reliable access and stores data on a remote, secure server, so lost or stolen devices are in no danger of being compromised. Overall, the technology for remote workers is available; it is now up to agencies to invest in it.

And for those surveyed that did not see security as a major obstacle to teleworking, but believed that security measures slowed them down or prevented them from accessing information while working remotely. Gutierrez believes that this may have less to do with insufficient technology, and more to do with educating the end user on how to get access to the files they need. With a little more information on how to accomplish all the tasks they normally complete in the office, the benefits of teleworking will be more apparent – especially when snow is in the forecast.

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