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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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Technology in the federal government

I recently had the opportunity to visit with Bill Bransford. Bill is with Shaw Bransford & Roth P.C., a law firm in the DC area, and is also the host of FED TALK, a radio show that is taped live every other Friday at 11:00 a.m. I was one of the two guests on this past week, along with Tim Simon, to discuss technology in the federal government. Topics included Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity, Mobility and Telework, and the ever famous Bring Your Own Device to work discussion. Read More »

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Happy Labor Day

Like many Americans, I am enjoying the 3-day holiday weekend.  I’m taking advantage of Labor Day promotional sales, watching college football games, and relaxing with family and good food on the BBQ.   

On this Labor Day, jobs are critically important to government leaders at all levels:

  • National government with President Obama’s Jobs Council Listening and Action sessions in Portland and Dallas in advance speech coming later this week 
  • State goverment such as in California where the jobless rate is currently at 12% 
  • City and local governments, mayors unveil jobs plan

Reflecting on the history of Labor Day, I wonder what our working world will be like in the future compared to the past.  LIFE has captured images “In Praise of American the Worker”  that captures the spirit of hardwork. 

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How To Make the Federal Workforce More Productive, Inclusive, Sustainable, and Resilient

Although federal agencies have made tremendous progress in reversing a sustained decline in telework participation, the objective of creating a more productive, inclusive, sustainable, and resilient federal workforce remains a work in progress.

The U.S. Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 dramatically improved the odds of success by creating Telework Managing Officers (TMOs) responsible for telework policy development and implementation in every agency. The first cadre of TMOs faces an exciting-and daunting-opportunity to create lasting impact in their agencies. They should interpret their roles broadly, to include not only the promotion of traditional telework arrangements, but also the development of mobility strategies that contribute meaningfully to agency business objectives such as productivity, inclusion, resilience, and sustainability.

Doing so will require engaging agency leadership on a range of different topics to develop an integrated plan.

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Stimulating Economic Growth with Broadband

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

One of the toughest aspects of promoting new technology deployment and usage is finding meaningful facts to support its potential value to local business community stakeholders. While there are readily available estimates and forecasts, detailed analysis and actual payback examples are somewhat rare.

That’s especially true with new technologies such as broadband that require the concerted efforts of multiple parties — which can include government agencies, service providers, equipment manufacturers, and end-users — in order to deliver quantifiable results.

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