Doan Pushes for More Telework at GSA
Doan earlier this week challenged GSA departments to figure out how to enable 50 percent of eligible employees to telework one or more days per week by 2010. According to GSA, 10 percent of eligible agency employees current telework, compared to 4.2 percent for the overall federal work force.
“It won’t be easy, but the leaders of GSA have already proven they are capable of extraordinary achievements, no matter the odds,” Doan said Sept. 12 at a forum hosted by the Telework Exchange, a public-private partnership that promotes federal telework.
Doan and other proponents of telework cite benefits such as reduced energy use, fewer greenhouse gas emissions, less traffic, less U.S. dependence on foreign oil, increased worker productivity and savings for American taxpayers.
Doan asserted that telework also is an important recruiting and retention tool that will help attract and keep talented individuals in public service. She added that the ability to telework will be especially critical in times of emergency and ensuring continuity of operations.
“Robust COOP capacity is a natural benefit of telework, but we can’t wait until an emergency to implement the program,” Doan said. “Federal agencies must have a viable telework program in place as part of normal operations.”
On its Web site, GSA touts telework as “a practical solution to environmental and other quality of life issues, as well as work-life challenges.” GSA’s Web site includes a question-and-answer page devoted to telework.
“Teleworking, sometimes called telecommuting or flexiplace, is an innovative business solution that enables employees to do productive work away from the traditional office,” the agency explains on its Web site. “Modern technological advances have made it easier to work anytime, anywhere and anyplace.”
As interim goals, Doan called for plans to increase the number of GSA teleworkers to 20 percent by the end of 2008 and 40 percent by the end of 2009.
Other agencies with telework policies include the departments of Agriculture, Defense, Education, Energy, Homeland Security, Justice and Labor.