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Steve O'Keeffe

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Posted: 9/23/2012 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]

Telework Tyranny?

As Putin preens, Russians are leery of a new Berlin Wall. Cuba’s not exactly Fidel friendly. Let’s face it - nobody wants into the cage. But, certain folks on Capitol Hill seem bent on terrorizing telework - the Issa Inquisition... In an election year, Feds too often become political punching bags. Let’s make sure we send a strong signal that the Telework genie ain’t going back in the bottle.

Attend tomorrow’s
Telework Exchange Town Hall Meeting at the D.C. Convention Center to show your support for Federal telework. Many local Hill folk are Telework Titans - Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va), Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md), Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va), and Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.). Let’s work together to speak truth to tyranny.

Telework Exchange is MeriTalk’s sister organization.

Babies and Bathwater

Let’s not let GSA’s “Hawaii Kai” snowball into Why Telework? Nobody’d defend GSA’s $750K telework travel tab - but, let’s not let one bad apple spoil the barrel for all Feds. Yes, it wasted money. Yes, it showed poor judgment. But, consider, Uncle Sam spends more than $16 billion a year on business travel. We need to look at both sides of the balance sheet. The real question here - how much do properly managed telework programs save agencies and tax payers? And, remember GSA has a proud heritage in telework - consider greats like Billy Michael and Dr. Wendell Joice. Lots of GSA folks are teleworking within the rules.

Telework Exchange has a
calculator that shows telework savings to Federal employees - and 26,000 Feds use it to calculate their savings. Telework Exchange hosts the annual Telework Week program - some 71,000 pledged to telework in March. The savings numbers were spectacular. Now Telework Exchange is working with OPM and agencies across government on the first Federal telework productivity RoI calculator - how much do agencies save? Look out for the new calculator in the new year - real numbers to push back against the telework tyrants.

Let’s face it, GSA ran into problems with conferences - but nobody’d say no more conferences and education for Feds. If a Fed crashed a car, would we swear off Feds driving? GSA owns a leadership role. Mr. Tangherlini, we’ll provide you the numbers to make the business case.

Big-Picture Savings

And, rather than cut back on telework, there’s a strong case for Feds to double down. Telework Exchange just released a new study, Fly Me to Your Room, that shows video’s value. Here are the vital stats. Just 36 percent of Feds use video conferencing today. Video will cut 3.5 hours in travel time for each Fed each week. That’s $8 billion - with a B - in productivity savings if only half Feds use video. And, Feds are optimistic - 84 percent think videoconferencing usage will increase in the next five years.

Telework is a reality of modern life - it’s vital to productivity and efficiency for a government that needs to do more with less. Have there been gaffes - absolutely. Let’s focus on management. The genie’s not going back in the bottle. Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water. Hope to see you tomorrow at the
Town Hall Meeting.


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