This winter, snow and ice have brought much of the country to a halt on a number of occasions—including this past Monday in Washington. These storms highlight the opportunity for telework to keep employees working and businesses and governments humming in adverse conditions. Monday’s mid-Atlantic snowstorm coincidentally fell on the first day of this year’s Telework Week, March 3-7.
Resources for Federal Agencies on Telework
GAO’s Key Issue Page on Federal Telework: Telework can help recruit and retain a qualified federal workforce, enhance their productivity and flexibility; and reduce real estate, energy, environmental, and other costs. For telework week, check out our key issue page on telework in the federal government.
25 Key Practices: In 2003, we identified 25 key practices for implementing successful federal telework programs, such as establishing measurable telework goals and addressing managerial resistance to telework.
The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010: This act encouraged telework by requiring executive agencies to establish telework policies, incorporate those policies into continuity of operations plans, and provide interactive telework training to employees and managers. In addition, it requires:
- Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to submit an annual report to Congress addressing the telework program of each executive agency.
- GAO to review OPM’s first report and submit a report to Congress on the progress each executive agency has made towards the goals established under the act. We completed our review of OPM’s first telework report required by the act last summer. We found that OPM has not taken adequate steps to establish a deadline by which agencies will produce reliable data. The small agency discussion group we held reported telework challenges similar to those that officials from larger agencies expressed to OPM. These challenges include management resistance and technology limitations.