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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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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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What do Cloud, Cybersecurity and Telework all have in common?

As Telework policy initiatives expand globally the number of events, articles and forums has grown exponentially. Intersections are everywhere… and sometimes where you least expect them. As an example, Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) initiative, industry and goverment Cloud events - “Telework” is a common thread.

How should government agencies be investing in the cloud for their “Mobile Workforce?” How do policies need to change to address cybersecurity threats? What technologies best align with both government mandates? All of these were explored in detail. But, there’s a critical element that was strangely missing from many of the dialogues.

Technology and policy alone do not guarantee a successful “Telework” program. We the people – you and me – do! We are the final and third component of any successful Telework program – where the mix and balance of policy, technology, and people create the desired outcome – workforce efficiency. But how do you identify and hire the right people? How do you track workforce performance? How do you hire for success? According to a recent research study, “Top 5 personality traits of successful web workers,” there are personality traits to help guide your selection and retention of the workforce. 

Personally speaking I was not surprised to learn that extroverts make for great web-workers (teleworkers) – being one myself ;0).  What about you?

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Summer Fridays: Do you fear them or love them?

Summer Fridays for many of us is the start of the long awaited weekend, the drive to the shore, or an evening BBQ with family and friends. But for those of us who live and work in the Washington, DC metro area our weekend plans are put on hold more often than not, and this Friday’s commute may prove to be another challenging drive according to an alert from the Virginia State Police: “On Friday afternoon (Aug 19), major traffic delays are expected on the Dulles Toll Road, Dulles Airport Access Highway, I-66 East and the Beltway due to a 9/11 memorial motorcycle ride, according to the Virginia State Police. Commuters should expect very significant traffic delays in the afternoon, especially during rush hour.”

This sort of an announcement would make me cringe if I didn’t work for a company that supports Telework. But fortunately, I do – so, I have the traffic gods under control! Remember work is what I do. Not a place. So I am working from my home office, avoiding the grid lock, with no impact on my productivity thanks to Cisco’s Telework / Mobile Workforce policy.

So it go me thinking… Why don’t more public and private sector organizations have Telework / Workforce Mobility policies, especially for “America’s 50 Worst Commutes.”

Summer Fridays. I love them!…  No longer fear them.  But, what about you?

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