Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Government

Mobile Government and Telework Week 2014

rpodEach year I pledge to telework along with thousands of others for the annual Telework Week.  Today, I worked from my rpod parked in front of my house.  My rpod is my personal smart work space and provides me everything I need to work at home or on the road with secure mobility capabilities that allow me to access all my meetings, applications, and collaboration tools to do my job.

In fact, I could have worked from anywhere and have been teleworking for the past several years.

The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 (Act) was signed into law on December 9, 2010. The objective is to achieve greater flexibility in managing the workforce through the use of telework. Telework programs  and best practices provide agencies a valuable tool to meet mission objectives while helping employees enhance work/life effectiveness to:

  • Improve Continuity of Operations to help ensure that essential Federal functions continue during emergency situations including snow storms
  • Promote management effectiveness when telework is used to target reductions in management costs and environmental impact and transit costs
  • Enhance work-life balance and allows employees to better manage their work and family obligations

This year, Telework Week 2014, was the fourth-annual global effort to encourage agencies, organizations, and individuals to pledge. A total of 163,495 pledges collectively saved $14,003,872 in commuting costs and spared the environment 9,066 tons of pollutants.

Read More »

Tags: , , ,

Collaboration Solutions: Choose the Right Ones for Productive, Effective Teleworking

In one of my recent blog posts I discussed the value of video for teleworking.

blog pic teleworker hi res EspenFrom this blog I received a lot of feedback from folks wanting examples of the type of technology to use for teleworking.  Many asked, “How do you know what the right technology is to use to support remote and traveling workers without giving up on a quality experience?”  Cisco supports all aspects of telework and remote scenarios with technology that is flexible, interoperable without comprising quality or providing just a “good enough” video experience. Cisco TelePresence personal solutions and video desk phones consistently offer high definition video on every call.  Companies do not want to compromise quality when deploying technology for remote and teleworkers. Cisco solutions offer both high quality and flexibility to support productive, effective teleworking.

Cisco has just released a new white paper that gives an in-depth explanation of the benefits of teleworking based on business class collaboration solutions. These solutions provide organizations the key building blocks in developing and designing a strong foundation for supporting remote workers worldwide.

The closer you get to an in-person experience in meetings with remote employees and teleworkers the more productive you will be.  Today working from a remote location does not mean that you are removed from what is going on back at the office. Cisco delivers flexible high quality solutions for teleworking that bring people together whether they are across town or across the world.

How are you deploying teleworking capabilities to your workforce?

Tags: , , , ,

New Bills in U.S. Government Show Commitment to Video

Being effective in your job doesn’t always mean that you need to be there.  In fact, many would argue that their productivity increases drastically when they are given the flexibility to work wherever they want as long as they can stay connected.  If that means staying off of a plane for a business trip, even better because it also saves the company money.

Enter video conferencing, the tool that enables users to be part of the discussion without being there.  But what does “there” really mean in today’s world? With mobile technologies, including video, transforming how and where we work, the concept of “there” is really anywhere you want it to be. “There” can be a traditional office that is now equipped with video technologies that enable collaboration with others across the world without having to travel in order to conduct business. It can also be working remotely and still being part of your business community with mobile video and other applications that allow users to work at home, at a coffee shop or anywhere they like.

The move to stay connected at anytime from anywhere has been engaged by many organizations including the U.S. Federal Government. To help agency’s ensure productivity while cutting travel costs the House of Representatives introduced a bill that would allow absent Congress members to vote via video conferencing. The bill allows members to cast votes remotely over video and be treated as if they were present in person at meetings.

Government members are also extending this sentiment beyond the walls of Congress as Representative Michael Fitzpatrick also introduced a new bill — H.R. 2643, the Stay In Place, Cut the Waste Act of 2013 — to review agencies’ efforts to reduce travel spending and develop a plan to cut travel expenses by 50 percent through the use of video conferencing technologies.

Is it really going to make a difference? Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

How Cisco IT Delivers Teleworker Services

What does it actually take to enable the 89 percent of Cisco employees who do at least some of their work remotely? For Cisco IT, this challenge means supporting products and services on both sides of the connection: in the teleworker’s home (and on their mobile devices) and in the Cisco corporate network.

Cisco Teleworkers Solutions in Employee Homes

We currently support three solutions to meet the teleworking needs of our mobile and remote employees:

  • Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client: Installed on the employee’s laptop or mobile device, this software client provides a secure VPN connection to the Cisco network. It is available to any Cisco employee and we currently support 30,000 users.
  • Cisco OfficeExtend: This solution includes a wireless access point that secures connectivity for the employee’s laptop and Cisco Unified IP Phone 9971 over a home network while reducing congestion, wireless interference, and security risks from other devices. We use this solution primarily for contact center agents, contractors, and employees who don’t require the HD-quality video of Cisco TelePresence for their work.
  • Cisco Virtual Office: This solution uses a Cisco 881 Integrated Services Router in the home to connect an employee’s laptop and Cisco Unified IP Phone 9971 to the Cisco network over an encrypted VPN. It also delivers HD video for the Cisco Jabber Video for TelePresence client or a separate Cisco EX 90 personal video endpoint. Cisco Virtual Office is used by employees who telework extensively and we currently support over 26,000 users.

The diagram below shows how these solutions connect to the Cisco network via the employee’s residential broadband Internet access service.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

How Telework Helps Cisco Recruit and Retain Employees

Why does top talent choose to join a company? Then, once they are employees, why do they stay?

At Cisco, one factor is consistent among our diverse, global workforce: the flexibility of our telework program and the Cisco technologies that enable it.

Recruiting the Best Workforce

As a global company, we know that talent lives everywhere in the world, but not always near a Cisco office. Our telework program helps us recruit the right employees because they won’t need to make a hard, long commute or face the life and family disruption of a relocation.

One employee wanted to raise his family in Illinois where he could be close to his extended family. Cisco supported his choice by allowing him to telework – one of the first employees to do so at Cisco – and was able to keep this valued technical employee with the company.

Other employees tell me that working from home enables them to work much more flexibly, and this motivates them to work even harder for their team, manager, and Cisco. The motivation produced by flexible working appears to play a role in our employees’ performance, with a higher percentage of mobile and remote employees receiving the top two performance evaluation rankings compared to traditional office workers.

Flexible work arrangements are also very important to the millennial generation that is now entering the workforce. Data in our 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report indicates that a majority of today’s university students value unconventional work schedules and believe they can work more productively away from the office.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,