Telework is increasingly satisfying and less problematic, study finds

lenetstan / Shutterstock.com

Federal employees looking for more reasons to work from home may be encouraged by the results of Telework Week 2012.

The event ran from March 5 to March 9, drew 80 percent more promises to telework than in 2011, according to a study underwritten by Cisco and released Wednesday by Telework Exchange. More than 71,000 people pledged, and 94 percent were federal workers. Only those who were confirmed to have actually teleworked at least one day of the week were counted.

Overall, the study found greater satisfaction and fewer challenges associated with the practice, compared to previous years.

Participants filled out a questionnaire when they registered for Telework Week and completed an online survey after its conclusion. Surveys were sent both to individuals and organizations, and the average participant teleworked two days out of a possible five. One in five organizations surveyed reported encountering challenges like technical issues during the week, down from one in three in 2011.

Additionally, 71 percent of organizations reported increased productivity as a result of telework in 2012, versus 60 percent in 2011.

Despite greater enthusiasm toward the benefits of teleworking, the study reported that the number of management teams more open to and encouraging of telework rose only slightly, from 60 percent to 62 percent. Telework Exchange General Manager Cindy Auten acknowledged the slower growth, saying more palpable results would be evident in five years with the advent of more telework-centric pilot programs.

“This is the one that takes the most patience to get because it’s a cultural change. I guess I wasn’t as surprised to see the needle move just slightly on it,” Auten said. The challenge now is to get management to think about employees in different metrics. “How do you manage based on work output as opposed to time and attendance?” she noted.

Telework Exchange estimates the government would save $5 billion if all eligible federal employees teleworked twice a week for one year.

Awards were set to be presented Wednesday afternoon to five agencies that have shown exceptional support for telework. Auten spotlighted the General Services Administration and the Agriculture Department as two federal agencies with “aggressive and tremendous” telework initiatives. The Patent and Trademark Office, which has had teleworkers for 15 years, is an “innovator” in the field, she said. The winners of this year’s awards won’t be announced until 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.