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Technology, Policy and People – Your Keys to a Successful Telework Program

At Cisco we recognize that successful telework programs include technology as well as policy and people!  When I  speak of “policy” I am referring to mandates at state, local, provincial and/or federal levels; as well as any internal organizational policies and procedures to ensure delivery of agency mission.  But what about the ‘people’ – your workforce?  I read a lot about policy and trends happening around the globe – focus on GhG emissions, continuity of government, energy and real estate reductions, information assurance, etc… but hear little of “the workforce” and the acknowledgement that “work is what we do, not a place.”  

Critical to the success of any telework program I would suggest are the ‘people.’  We are what makes any good strategy succeed!  If you agree with my thinking, then you may find a recent paper authored by WorldatWork, “Telework: Considerations for an Effective Program,”  may help your assessment on workforce eligibility… and help contribute to program success as it focuses on the user of telework, we the people.  Here is a sampling of few questions you may take into consideration when determining eligibility of telework… Does the job lend itself t o a telework environment?  Does the employee who is requesting the arrangement demonstrate a strong work ethic and does he/she continuously meet his/her work deadlines?  More…

 As you execute your plan and move from “the evaluation phase” to “training and launch phase” Cisco Collaboration/Video Solutions for Government like Webex and video are very effective training and communication tools to help facilitate your telework program training plans.  These secure, collaborative tools can meet the requirements of the entire workforce including employee, middle management, IT and facility organization, as well as help avoid unnecessary travel and expenses too!

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GSA Centers Bring Telepresence to the Federal Government

Back in July, I wrote about the federal government’s General Services Administration’s (GSA) plan to install 15 telepresence centers in federal buildings around the country.  Well, I’m excited to report those sites are up and running!

Outfitted with Cisco TelePresence, the sites allow federal employees to conduct face-to-face, real time meetings with colleagues in faraway locations without incurring any travel expenses. Participants can share electronic documents and presentations, discuss strategy, and look each other in the eye across the virtual table. The GSA sites are open to employees from agencies that register to use the telepresence system.

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Telework: Stressing over what you can’t see?

Looking for tips on how to manage your teleworkers… and what you can’t see?  Join me and hundreds of others at the 2011 Telework Exchange Town Hall Meeting , today in Washington, DC.   Hear from distinguished industry experts and US Federal Government leaders on how they are successfully supporting telework.  Can’t attend, then check out the “Five Tips to Manage What You Can’t See”from WorldatWork, a not-for-profit organization providing education, conferences and research focused on global human resources issues including compensation, benefits, work-life and integrated total rewards to attract, motivate and retain a talented workforce.

Know of other helpful tools and resources, please share!

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Is “Telework” fast becoming the new work norm?

Technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Organizations are increasingly adopting BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies.  Businesses and governments are changing how they work.  In a recent article by the Wall Street Journal, “Employees Alone Together, ”  the author features organizations that are growing because of their alternative work arrangements.  Technology is allowing these organizations to innovate in ways previously never envisioned.  They are creating communities of interest virtually, celebrating success and planning for tomorrow – without requiring employees to work longer hours.

Do you want greater work flexibility for your organization?  Learn how technology, when aligned with policies and procedures – can increase productivity and accelerate your mission task or goal.

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The New Age of Conference Calls—You’ll Actually Want to Tune In

In her BNET column, “168 Hours,” Laura Vanderkam recently shared “22 Things to Do During That Boring Conference Call.” While I applaud Vanderkam’s suggestions to write love letters and thank-you notes, read poetry, and do other things that arguably make the world a better place, I also agree with her that if people need conference call distractions to pass the time, perhaps they should instead think of ways to make the calls more worthwhile.

So how do you make a conference call productive? Host it over telepresence. The face-to-face connection commands people’s attention—you can’t hide from the person staring at you across the virtual table! With telepresence, participants can read each other’s nuanced body language and engage in lively, natural dialogue without the common audio call hazard of talking over one another. Just by paring down the confusion of faceless communication, telepresence calls can take regular 60-minute conferences down to 45 or 50 minutes. Add up those savings over the course of the week, and you’ve earned back several hours of quality time. Read More »

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