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Work – where you are or what you do?

As someone who has been in the technology industry for more than 20 years; “work is what I do. Not a place.” I have been fortunate to be employed by organizations that have Telework and Mobile Workforce policies and that understand the have benefits of enabling me to work from just about any location (and at any time) you can imagine. As an employee this flexibility has given me much greater satisfaction in both my professional and personal lives. As organizations, my employers have seen much higher productivity and greater employee retention – during that 20+ years in technology, I’ve had exactly two employers!

In a recent blog I read, “Are We Farmers, Factory Workers, or Ideas People?” Josh Sawislak suggests telework is leading us to rethink “work.” From traditional work arrangements to how we will work in the future. Read More »

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Telepresence Could Help Lure Young Talent into the Government Workforce

August 3, 2011 at 10:24 am PST

How do the kids in your life spend their time after school? Do their activities involve video—either watching it, playing with it, or creating it?

For Cisco Consulting System Engineer Mike Harttree’s son, Tommy, after school time means gathering his Legos and those belonging to his neighborhood buddies, arranging them in elaborate constructions—like recreations of movie scenes— taking digital pictures of the arrangements, digitally gluing these photos together on a Mac, and uploading the glued photos in video format to YouTube.

Tommy is seven years old. His oldest friend/collaborator is 12. Check out their impressive work here. Read More »

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Borderless Networks Will Set You Free! – Telework for Government

July 18, 2011 at 6:13 pm PST

There is a lot of buzz out there right now about Telework Solutions for Government as many agencies are making the transition that so many Corporations have already completed.  Personally, I haven’t worked full time in an office since pre-1996 and can’t imagine wasting that much time every day on preparations and commuting for no real purpose other than donuts, coffee and the latest office gossip.

Work is an activity, not a location in today’s professional world with pervasive networking capabilities and the Government is getting on board under the leadership of the current administration.

If you want to get a feel for the progress and momentum around this,  check out the public/private partnership at the Telework Exchange site focused on eliminating the Telework Gridlock.  Cisco is one of the sponsors of this activity because we see the value, have lived it for better than 15 years,  and can offer solutions to help make this a reality for our Government customers. Read More »

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Telework: Why the Federal Workforce Could Be Efficient and Green

The federal government is a perennial target, always subject to accusations of waste and inefficiency, among other allegations. But recent developments in technology and new legislation hold out hope for a more efficient, effective, and greener federal workforce. The U.S. Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 generated tremendous momentum toward increasing workforce mobility options for federal employees. The act paves the way for the federal government to unlock significant benefits, including greater productivity, resilience, environmental sustainability, and employee inclusion. It creates accountability for achieving these objectives in the form of telework managing officers (TMOs), senior officials responsible for telework policy development and implementation.

Realizing these objectives will require a significant departure from current practice. To date, agencies have focused on increasing telework participation rates through advertising, employee training, and resolution of technological barriers. Meaningful progress toward the act’s other goals-including emergency readiness, energy use, recruitment and retention, performance, and productivity-will require moving past first-generation strategies aimed at increasing telework participation rates and, instead, pursuing integrated mobility strategies explicitly linked to agency business objectives.

TMOs should not view the act as just another administrative burden that requires compliance. As the first TMOs assume their roles, they have a unique opportunity to use workforce mobility-including telework and a broader range of tools and systems to enable productivity anywhere, anytime, and on any device-as a catalyst to create a more flexible, productive, and inspiring federal workplace.

Achieving this vision requires a sober assessment of the current situation, an ambitious, goal-driven strategy linked to agency business objectives, and a new management posture aimed at transforming mindsets and behaviors rather than resolving technological challenges.

For perspectives on these issues, read the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) white paper, “Telework: Achieving Higher Levels of Federal Employee Productivity, Inclusion, and Environmental Sustainability.”

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