From super storms to snow storms, the U.S. has experienced its share of extreme winter weather over the past few months – evidenced today by the revelations from my family in #Snowklahoma. The damage left by recent blizzards, Hurricane Sandy and the Nemo Storm has businesses and residents rethinking ways to ensure continuity during severe weather.
For government agencies, businesses and even schools in some cases, teleworking (or telecommuting) is a popular solution that allows continuity of operations (COOP) while keeping employees out of harm’s way during natural disasters. In contrast to the Yahoo announcement today, many agencies, organizations and teams rely on telework to keep employee productivity high regardless of weather, travel delays or other conditions.
As BYOD and mobility have taken hold in the public sector, we are seeing many agencies take advantage of telework. The Office of Personnel Management estimates that one-third of federal employees in the DC metro area telework when government buildings close due to weather.
While telework allows agencies to maintain a productive workforce during natural disasters, the benefits of telework also include lower costs, increased productivity and employee satisfaction. It definitely validates the fact that government agencies should view telework as a long-term solution.
As David Graziano, director, security and unified access, U.S. Public Sector, Cisco, said in a recent article in Mobile Enterprise “I live and breathe teleworking”. It’s true for many of us at Cisco, and as we are learning, it’s becoming true for more and more Federal employees.
So, will your agency or organization be crippled by the next superstorm?
If you are interested in telework or mobility in general, the Mobile Work Exchange is hosting the third annual Telework Week next week on March 4-8, and it’s the perfect opportunity to test your telework capabilities!
Has the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 been a catalyst for change? Is this a federal mandate or simply a way for agencies to provide employees with a level of workplace flexibility, resulting in little or no change?
Great questions, David. I think we can probably argue whether the catalyst is really the mandate or the marketplace and its momentum in adopting BYOD, cloud and mobile technologies, or even whether it’s the incoming workforce needing to be accommodated. My personal opinion is that it’s a combination, but we have definitely seen evidence that telework is having a positive impact when implemented properly – the US Patent and Tradmark Office is a great example! http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-09-10/local/35494462_1_telework-patent-trademark-office
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