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Telework Town Hall


Wired Workplace has been trying to follow the Twitter updates from Thursday's Telework Exchange town hall meeting, at which Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry and U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra were scheduled to speak, but surprisingly, there haven't been many tweets. Luckily, Alyssa Rosenberg at Government Executive and Ed O'Keefe at The Washington Post have some details from the meeting.

Berry asked attendees to send him their ideas on how to gain acceptance of teleworking among federal managers, Congress and the public, noting that if those groups "think that teleworking is a day off, then we're dead." Berry also urged eligible federal employees to telework at least once a week, the Post reports.

Meanwhile, Chopra urged federal managers to not let the conversation end at "we have security concerns," and to begin searching for a solution to those problems. "We are hungry to bring the private sector's best practices into our operations, to as much as possible remove the barriers," he said. "There are a wide range of technologies both existing and emerging that would help to move the ball forward in many of these circumstances."

It looks to me like telework faces some of the same challenges that Government 2.0 efforts face in the federal workplace, and the problems do not appear to stem from a lack of technology, but rather a need to radically change the culture within federal agencies. What barriers exist at your agency, and what can be done to overcome them? How can the government sell the concept of telework to skeptical federal managers, Congress and the public, who might view the strategy as simply a "day off?"

Wired Workplace is a daily look at issues facing the federal information technology workforce. It is written by former Government Executive reporter Brittany Ballenstedt and published on Nextgov.com. Click here to read the latest entries.

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Brittany Ballenstedt writes Nextgov's Wired Workplace blog, which delves into the issues facing employees who work in the federal information technology sector. Before joining Nextgov, Brittany covered federal pay and benefits issues as a staff correspondent for Government Executive and served as an associate editor for National Journal's Technology Daily. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Mansfield University and originally hails from Pennsylvania. She currently lives near Travis Air Force Base, Calif., where her husband is stationed.

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