National Telework Week kicks off Monday, Feb. 14
National Telework Week, an initiative encouraging government agencies to pledge to allow employees to work remotely, runs Feb. 14-18. Dozens of government agencies will be participating, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Virginia Department of Education, the Michigan Service Center Multifunctional Team and Poulsbo, Wash. Telework Week is sponsored by Alexandria, Va.-based Telework Exchange and San Jose, Calif.-based router supplier Cisco.
The terms “telework,” “telecommuting,” “flexible workplace,” “remote work,” “virtual work,” and “mobile work” are all used to refer to work done outside of the traditional on-site work environment. The federal Office of Personnel Management defines telework as work arrangements in which an employee regularly performs officially assigned duties at home or other work sites geographically convenient to the residence of the employee.
A total of 16,258 pledges to telework during National Telework Week have been received. The estimated quantity of pollutants that will not be discharged into the environment during telework week is 1.5 million pounds.
“Work is what you do, not where you are,” said federal General Services Administration administrator Martha Johnson. “Telework is revolutionizing the way government works, helping us to be more mobile, more agile, more flexible, more productive, and deliver better results for the American people. Telework Week plays an important role in this by giving employers and employees an opportunity to test their telework capacity, identify possible gaps in their IT backbone, and build their mobile work muscle.”
“Telework improves recruitment and retention, improves emergency response preparedness, and saves taxpayer money. We just had another snow event in late January where teleworking enabled thousands of federal employees to keep working even when roads were covered in ice and snow,” said Congressman Gerry Connolly, who represents the 11th District of Virginia. “Telework Week provides an opportunity for managers and employees to pilot telework initiatives in their workplaces and ensure the efficacy of their IT infrastructure to handle telecommuting. It also provides a good opportunity for managers to test and update their business continuity plans to ensure readiness in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.”