Report: Telework could bring financial benefit to agencies

But a lack of support is hampering growth of the work-from-home concept in the government, consultants say.

Telecommuting is low on most federal agencies' priority lists despite significant financial benefits, a study commissioned by the General Services Administration has found.

Federal employees who telework often use personally owned equipment and get by with limited access to agency information systems, the report from consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton stated.

Multiple benefits could be reaped if agencies implement the necessary technology infrastructure improvements to allow for more telework, and agency policies should be changed to incorporate alternate work arrangements, the report said.

The report predicted substantial returns on investment for agencies that implement and support telework arrangements in which more than 50 percent of staff members work outside the office.

A 100,000-employee organization investing $16 million in telework technologies would reap $36.2 million in benefits, while an organization of 10,000 workers investing $220,000 would gain $3.4 million in returns, the consultants found.