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Government Telework Programs Ready to Take Off, But Hurdles Remain

February 2, 2012 - 3 Comments

We’ve been singing the praises on this blog about the Federal government’s efforts to encourage telecommuting for its employees. While great strides continue to be made, new research reveals some hurdles that still remain, before widespread adoption will ensue.

First, the good news.  Since the enactment of the Telework Enhancement Act in late 2010, the Federal government has clearly made telework a priority for agencies through the creation of an official guide and an overall cultural shift. Federal Computer Week recently reported that telework will be among the main IT focus areas in fiscal year 2012 for the federal government in its effort to save money and increase efficiency.

But the transition is not going to be easy. A recent survey by government IT media company FedScoop reveals that while Federal agencies and employees acknowledge the benefits of telework, actual progress has been frustratingly slow. For example, 90% of federal managers said they trust their teams to work remotely but only 61% of employees said their managers allowed them to do so.

Another stat shows that when it comes to telework, federal employees are far less satisfied with the technology made available to them as opposed to their counterparts in the private sector. Security and reliability are cited as a key issue, with 81% of federal employees expressing concern about a cyber-attack on their organization.

At Cisco, we believe telepresence can have a huge impact from a technology and a perception standpoint. Our new white paper, Video at the Core of Government Telework: Overcome Resistance with Face-to-Face Interaction, explores the critical role secure telepresence solutions can play in engaging and managing a remote government workforce. Making government employees (federal, state and local) more productive and controlling costs are goals everyone shares. With the continued focus on telework and the right mix of technologies, we’re not far from the reality of a true 21st century public workforce.

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  1. Great video! As a teleworker myself, I love hearing the stats and data around the increases in telework across the board. While studies show that teleworkers save companies money, are more productive and are more committed to their jobs, I can’t wait to see how the proliferation of video communication impacts those stats.

  2. Thank you for your comment. I will read “The Encouraged Permission to Telecommute” blog, as I quite agree that private sector/commercial adopt these models more quickly than governments. Perhaps with the US Telework Enhancement, more federal agencies will see the many benefits to telework, especially with video at the core! Here is URL to the white paper:

  3. A very interesting article. It would be great to compare with the state of the Canadian government’s efforts for allowing Telework.
    I would love to get a copy of “Video at the Core of Government Telework: Overcome Resistance with Face-to-Face Interaction”. could you please direct me?
    We have also recently posted a blog on the “The Encouraged Permission to Telecommute” seeing more corporations embrace this model than governments.