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Department of Homeland Security

(TELECOMMUTE) Federal Agencies should increase telecommuting

I would like to propose that Federal Agencies who employ personnel such as Inspectors, Special Agents, Auditors and others who spend more than 50 or 60 percent of their labor hours on the road should be required to telecommute. The Federal Government spends millions of dollars on real estate, utilities, telecommunications and several other fixed cost to maintain office space. Most of the agencies that have personnel in the field have in many cases already given these employees wireless communication devices, laptops and take home government vehicles. This means that the Federal Government may have thousands upon thousands of square feet of office space with minimal use throughout many of the agencies. The Federal Government should require agencies to designate specific job series as positions which are required to telecommute based on the job function.

The Federal Government and most agencies have telecommuting policies in place. However agencies do not implement telecommuting at levels which would make a significant difference in cost savings. A gradual increase should be required of agencies that have employees which would meet the criteria, established by the Federal Government, based on job functions. A gradual increase would allow agencies time to adjust to the changes in the operating procedures and allow for adjustment of policy within the agencies specific needs.

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Idea No. 3807