Department of Energy

Make Telework a reality, not just a deceptive “check in the box”

Everyone seems to support Telework, yet very few employees participate, and if they do, it’s for one day a month, or something just as silly. I once heard OPM director John Berry state that he envisions a Federal employee that can telework with their gov’t issued computer pool side, or at the beach…as long as they’re getting their work done. Getting over the stigma of “working from home” when not really working while home, is a management issue that needs to be handled on a case by case basis. If a manager can’t trust their employee to telework, how do they trust them while in the workplace? Is surfing the internet, spending personal time on the phone and socializing while actually at their workplace somehow more professional?

Successful companies like Google, Apple, Intel, Goldman Sachs, etc are successful because they think and operate outside of the box, unlike the Federal Gov’t. By actually offering telework, the Federal Gov’t saves money, reduces pollution, is more productive and most importantly, the employee can increase their well-being. Why should employees be punished for having a family and striving for a “life” outside of work? Who wants to work, retire and die shortly after retiring? This is the workforce we have and are breeding. Whatever happened to liking your job?

The signed Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 seems great, but just isn’t adhered to. Siding with the old stigma of “teleworking” seems more important than actually reducing the carbon footprint (cars off road during commutes/rush hr), using less energy resources (less people in building) and promoting the well-being of the employees.

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Idea No. 10859