The President’s Push for Telework

The term – workplace flexibility – is all the buzz at the White House. If you watched the live stream of the Workplace Flexibility Forum last week, hosted by The White House (http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/04/01/a-conversation-workplace-flexibility), you know what I mean. The President and First Lady opened and closed the session, discussing the importance of creating workplace practices that allow America’s working individuals to meet the demands of their jobs without sacrificing the needs of their families. The President is clearly on board with telework and stresses that the Federal government will lead by example. Director Berry calls him the “teleworker in chief.” Talk about having the best home office in town.

President Obama stated, “Plenty of new jobs we can create when we embrace teleworking and flexible work arrangements.” He further elaborated on how John Berry at OPM is working with Aneesh Chopra to provide opportunities to telework on a regular basis and will adopt best practices from the private sector.

On March 31st, the Council of Economic Advisers in the Executive Office of the President released a report entitled “Work-Life Balance and the Economics of Workplace Flexibility.” The report describes the ways in which the American society has changed over the past half century and highlights the need for more flexibility in the workplace. The report is broken into a number of categories highlighting flexibility in the scheduling of hours, the place of work, and the number of hours of work.

“One study estimated that in 2000 more than half of all jobs were amenable to telecommuting, at least on a part-time basis, and undoubtedly that fraction has increased since then as a result of the spread of high-speed internet and mobile technology.” The full report can be viewed here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/files/documents/100331-cea-economics-workplace-flexibility.pdf.

It’s a perfect time to continue the discussion at the Town Hall Meeting this week – www.teleworkexchange.com/townhallmeeting. With more than 700 registered, we anticipate a very engaging conversation centered on telework and workplace flexibility. Hope to see you there.

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Josephine Rago-Adia

I am very interested on this topic, I am currently on a quasi type of situation which my superiors could not exactly fit into the current label. I am detailed here in NY (due to family related situation) while reporting (online) in DC, and trying very hard to extend the term it but was told I can’t do it, because its not in the guidelines. This might be the solution. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.