EH Rice

Can they save $121 Billion, the short answer is no! And why should they? It’s not their money it’s the worker’s that decided to live and work in a large metropolitan are where the traffic is always jammed up. Any agency that deals with any privacy concerns, let alone classified information has to make expenditures to accommodate telework. So, you have to provide a good laptop for them to work from home (don’t want sensitive data on a private machine), you have to provide secure connectivity around the firewalls, tech support for the telework, and who says that when you are stuck in traffic on the beltway (for me going in was easy, it was the coming home that took from 2 to 2 1/2 hours) that you aren’t thinking about work and what you would be doing the next day, and the solutions to the problems of that day. Some say telework increases productivity, I say that as a general rule it probably doesn’t because you lack the daily officer interactivity. And, telework is a phenomenon for huge metropolitan areas like Greater DC, LA, etc. When in DC, I had to ability to telework. The idea was as a backup in case of natural disaster like snow, floods, etc. Invariably I would find myself working on my home time on something for the office, rather than wait till the next day. I finally had to put my foot down and say no to that one. Once you get out into the hinterland of our great country, telework is really very rare. I moved out of the DC area and now I work .9 mile from home (and it is in a very nice upscale neighborhood). The furthest anyone in our office lives from work is 20 minutes. And let’s face it, some jobs can’t be done with telework, and others just cannot be accommodated because the need for face to face contact. You can only do so much by e-mail and telephone. As far as the subsidies, they barely made it this last year. I doubt that they will remain funded much longer.