The President’s initiative on telework is a progressive step for the U.S. Government. However, the initiative, in its current form only succeeds in minimal reductions to administrative costs. Thus, telework procedures need to be taken to the next level. For those positions that can be performed entirely remotely, the employee should be given the flexibility to perform their duties from any geographic location. The savings would come from the anticipation that many people would choose to live in locales that provide the highest quality of living at the lowest cost. For example, a Federal Government worker, at the GS-9-5 level, and living in New York, makes over $60,000 a year. However, if that employee is given the opportunity to telework 100% of the time, and from any location, would he choose to remain in New York, or move someplace else. For some, they would stay. However, for those who left, there is ample justification that they would move someplace without a cost of living adjustment, like Austin, Texas, where the salary would be just over $53,000. This results in a 12% administrative savings, or $7,000. If only 10% of the Federal workforce took advantage of telework “without geographic boundaries,” and moved from locations with cost of living adjustments to those without, the savings could potentially exceed $1.5 billion annually (using GS-9-5’s as an example).
Idea No. 13509