Department of Energy

Support telework/flexiplace in practice, not just theory

Supervisors often discourage employees off-the-record -- usually through an unofficial verbal disapproval so there's no record of them not supporting a cost-saving program -- from exercising the option to participate in the telework program. Some forward-thinking organizations are supportive and the program works well. Managers in other organizations, however, have the mentality that they need to see their people to believe they're working, even though they can accomplish the same tasks -- sometimes even more efficiently without office interruptions -- without physically being at a specific location/office. Employees who are productive at the office will, by nature, be productive offsite. Employees who would not work offsite, probably don't do much when they're at the office either. Geography does not necessarily affect productivity, provided that one's job is conducive to telework in the first place. It's time for managers to change with the times and start recognizing this as a viable cost-saving option for government.

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Idea No. 697