Beleaguered GSA praised for telework program
Agency honored, along with USDA and Homeland Security, for innovations in promoting the work arrangement.
The General Services Administration may be in hot water with the rest of government, but in the field of telework, it’s enjoying praise as a trailblazer.
GSA’s Office of the Chief Information Officer received a Tele-Vision Award for innovative technology on Wednesday. Presented by the Telework Exchange at the Washington Convention Center, the award was in recognition of the office’s A3 (Any Device, Anywhere, Anytime) Strategy, which allows employees to telework using laptops, smartphones and tablets.
The Homeland Security and Agriculture departments also were honored with Tele-Vision Awards. DHS claimed the honor for Largest Leap in Telework. Its Enhanced Telework Program, employed in the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, had its pilot year in 2009. Three years later, all the office’s 143 employees telework with varying levels of frequency, and more than half work remotely at least 50 percent of the time.
USDA received the Excellence in Telework Leadership award for initiatives such as its weekly Let’s Talk Telework! webinars, while two Agriculture employees -- William Milton Jr. and Mika Cross -- received the Mid-Atlantic Telework Advisory Council Telework Driver Award for their efforts in developing and promoting their department’s telework program nationwide.
In addition, DHS’ Customs and Border Protection bureau earned an honorable mention for its Telework Advantage program, which has seen a more than 2,000 percent increase in employee telework participation in the past two years..
Speaking with Government Executive prior to the announcement of the awards, Telework Exchange General Manager Cindy Auten praised GSA and USDA in particular, calling the agencies’ accomplishments “aggressive and tremendous.”
Telework Exchange announced the awards in a press release on the heels of its findings from Telework Week 2012, which ran March 5 to March 9. Seventy-one percent of participating organizations reported increased productivity, and 94 percent of the more than 71,000 employees who made telework pledges were federal workers.