Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 which provides agencies greater flexibility in managing their workforce. It provides a framework for agencies to better leverage technology and to maximize the use of flexible work arrangements which can aid in recruiting new Federal workers, retain valuable talent and allow the Federal agency workers to be more responsive to citizen needs and be more productive out in the field. This can include situations such as national security, emergency response, cross agency collaboration, or simply, providing citizen services such as language translation.
Last year, more than 71,000 people pledged, saving $5,651,890 on commuting costs, gaining back 251,774 hours into their day, and removing 3 tons of pollutents from the air while refraining from driving 6, 413,006 miles.
Today, Cisco and Telework Exchange kicks off the third annual Telework Week 2013 – an annual global effort to encourage agencies, organizations and individuals to pledge to work anytime, anywhere from March 4-8, 2013. According to Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD), author of the Telework Enhancement Act, “Telework Week is an excellent opportunity for thousands of people to try teleworking and realize the great benefits it can provide. A robust Telework program can help organizations improve the quality of life of their employees, while taking strides to protect the environment, reduce traffic congestion on the roads, and increase workplace efficiency.”
It’s been over ten years since my last visit to the beautiful city of Washington D.C. It’s always great to visit all my favorite monuments and historical landmarks such as the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument. I wish I could tell you more about my wonderful dinners at the Old Ebbitt Grill or Brassaire Beck; but onto more important things.
As I walk through downtown, looking around, I was thinking to myself, how much things have changed since my last visit. Gone are the days of disposable cameras, brochures and maps -- everyone around me is using a smart phone to take photos, launching Google maps to find the Smithsonian, or scanning QR codes at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum to view additional factoids as they were walking about the museum. Everything is going mobile!
I’m here this week to attend the 12th semi-annual Telework Exchange Fall Town Hall meeting – “Mobility in the Fast Lane” focused on mobile IT and the mobile workforce. While I was here, my colleagues and I had the utmost pleasure to interview 9 government and industry leaders discussing topics such as security, standards, technologies and telework benefits and challenges within their agencies. It was fascinating to hear from these leaders how they are working in different ways to transform their agencies to better serve the American people, grow their workforce and create a balanced work-life environment for their employees. Read More »
This new policy requires DoD department heads to promote telework within their respective departments, exhaust all efforts to overcome barriers to program implementation, authorize telework for the maximum number of positions without compromising mission readiness, and integrate telework into continuity of operations activities.
A recent surveyconducted by Telework Exchange among federal IT employees found that 59 percent of respondents expect more regular teleworkers in the next two years; 65 percent of agencies polled scored an “A” or “B” in telework IT readiness.
As trends, such as Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD), continuing to take hold, young professionals entering the workforce have started to request teleworking benefits. I previously discussed the importance for organizations eager to recruit to embrace technologies, like telepresence, that support anywhere, anytime collaboration.
Telepresence is a huge part of ensuring teleworking is as efficient as possible; incorporating video is a great way to stay connected to colleagues and preserve relationships. You can find more tips on how to maintain a productive telework environment here.
One thing is for sure, telework isn’t going anywhere. It’s already illustrated the cost savings and employee productivity benefits to organizations already implementing a telework plan. As we move forward, we are going to see a number of other initiatives from federal agencies as well as organizations around the globe looking to take hold of these benefits.
Does your employer have some telework initiative in place? Please share your thoughts.
I already passed along some tips for making conference calls more productive and pleasant using telepresence… so I thought I’d share with you an example of the successful video conference call in action.
In a recentWall Street Journal article, Sarah Max reported on CUNA Mutual Group, a financial services provider with an 80-person sales force spread throughout the country—and in large part working remotely. CUNA relies on video technology for regular meetings, including their annual cocktail reception. Employees enjoy drinks and refreshments they provide for themselves at home, but through video still interact and get to know each other personally. No uncomfortable heels or last-minute shoe shines required in order to impress! Read More »