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OPM’s Report to Congress on Telework
July 9, 2012 at 10:13 am #165623
Title: 2012 Status of Telework in the Federal Government
Report to the Congress
Message from the Director:
2012 Status of Telework in the Federal Government
I am pleased to present the 2012 Status of Telework in the Federal Government. This report is the first since the signing of the Telework Enhancement Act in December 2010. It gives an overview of the Federal Government’s increasing use of telework, and accompanying results, benefits and challenges. Through data collected in our governmentwide Employee Viewpoint Survey (EVS), we can gain insight on the impact of telework on our workforce.
The Telework Enhancement Act emphasizes the strategic value agencies get from Federal telework, ensuring continuity of operations, reducing management costs and improving our employees’ ability to balance their work and life commitments. Ultimately, we want agencies to use telework to drive results.
Telework can make employees more efficient, more accountable, and more resilient in emergency conditions, and this report shows signs that we are achieving those results. For example, in comparison to non-teleworkers facing barriers to telework, teleworkers are more likely to report knowing what is expected of them on the job and feeling as though they are held accountable for results. At the same time, teleworkers are more likely to report feeling empowered – a key factor in employee retention.
Agencies that collectively employ more than 99 percent of the Federal workforce have adopted telework as a critical component of their agency Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP), enabling those organizations to continue functioning through hazardous weather, pandemic or physical attacks that would result in the closure of Government buildings. The report also provides preliminary data on cost savings realized by agencies, such as avoided real estate, energy, and commuter subsidy costs. The Telework Enhancement Act additionally requires that OPM report on societal benefits of telework, including environmental impact and reductions to congestion and commuting.
As the report shows, some challenges remain: not all managers are comfortable directing employees who telework; agencies’ ability to track and report telework metrics vary; and a lack of prior data makes comparisons to past telework metrics difficult. This report will provide baseline data for future research and reports.
Overall, the use of telework is expanding and improving in the Federal Government. Ensuring its effective use will save energy and expense, boost accountability and resilience, and bring our Federal Workforce the responsiveness and flexibility that is expected in the 21st century.
The signing of the Telework Enhancement Act in December 2010 (the Act), set in motion a transformation of Federal telework that will have the effect of unleashing its potential as a strategic intervention for supporting agency effectiveness. The Act provides a framework of requirements designed to ensure a more systematic implementation of telework in Federal agencies than previously existed and adequate notice to employees of their telework eligibility status. Satisfying these requirements has meant a fundamental shift in how agency stakeholders view and implement telework –from a strictly individual employee benefit to a strategic organizational change program.
Telework program benefits extend from the individual to larger communities. Telework’s potential to enhance work-life balance for individual employees is well documented. Implemented widely across agencies, telework has the potential to improve quality of life for communities, for example, by reducing traffic congestion and pollution. Increasingly, however, the potential for agency benefits drives telework implementation.
• Aligned with agency strategy and mission, telework supports achievement of objectives increasingly important for operation of an efficient and effective Federal Government, including cost savings and improved performance, and maximizing organizational productivity.
• Developed as a strategic program, telework is a powerful agency recruitment and retention tool with the capacity to improve the competitive position of the Federal Government for recruiting and retaining the best possible workforce. .
• Leveraged as a management tool, telework mitigates potential disruptions to workplace productivity (e.g., severe weather).
July 9, 2012 at 10:23 am #165628
From Washington Post:
Telework report shows mixed results
By Joe Davidson
The Obama administration’s “first comprehensive view of telework practices across the entire federal government since the enactment of the Telework Enhancement Act” presents a mixed bag.
In the introduction to the report, released Friday by the Office of Personnel Management, OPM Director John Berry said agencies representing more than 99 percent of the federal workforce have included telework “as a critical component of their agency Continuity of Operations Plans,” which would be used to keep the government operating “through hazardous weather, pandemic or physical attacks that would result in the closure of Government buildings.”
July 9, 2012 at 10:25 am #165626
From Government Executive:
OPM releases its most ‘comprehensive’ report on telework practices
Approximately 21 percent of eligible federal employees took advantage of telework in 2011, according to a new report from the Office of Personnel Management.
The 2012 Status of Telework in the Federal Government document released Friday will serve as a baseline to measure progress toward meeting requirements of the 2010 Telework Enhancement Act.
The document draws information from federal employees who were, for the first time, required to report telework data to OPM. Previously, agencies submitted their telework data to OPM on a voluntary basis.
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