The Short of It:
Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 – (Sec. 2) Requires the head of each executive agency to: (1) establish a policy under which eligible agency employees may be authorized to telework; (2) determine employee eligibility to participate in telework; and (3) notify all employees of their eligibility to telework.
Moving American Workers Towards a Greener World
For all eligible federal employees working in executive branch agencies of the United States government the infrastructure to support their telework must be in place by July. Already this month over 72% of the employees have been notified that this, via the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 , is their right. The range can be anywhere from full-time status to once a month.
In very practical ways this move has begun to pay off. Last winter in Atlanta, The Center for Disease Control was able to keep over 6000 workers plugged in and working during a three day snowstorm. Only three years ago, this would have prevented those workers from the critical life saving work they do. The Patent and Trademark Office, a long time adopter of telework, has minimized interruptions in continuity and report increased productivity and morale.
Other drivers of this program are reductions in carbon emissions, cutting costs and recovering capital investments. This year over $1.7 billion of the mandated $3 billion dollar savings from disposal of unneeded Federal real estate is attributed to telework.
The goal is to have 62% of employees working outside the office during every pay period. The biggest challenge? Management resistance – – not surprising, given the number of under educated managers clinging to models based on industrial age command and control concepts rather than the high productivity models of contemporary organizational leadership. However, with the Act in place, over 80% of workers being eligible and 97% wanting telework options, managers are trying to push a boulder up hill using teaspoons.
The government has adopted the ROWE (Results Only Work Environment) management program owned by CultureRX to help managers move from the ”I can’t manage what I can’t see” model to the “I can manage what I can measure” approach that integrates well with other tools such as Six Sigma.
How About Those Canucks?
Where is Canada in all this? Where it usually is – hesitating and hiding. In it’s own words the Canadian government states:
“The job of enabling or promoting telework does not lie with any particular level of government, and can be a challenging objective. Telework is integrally linked to the operations and culture of individual employers, and is not well suited to legislation or regulation. Many major employers even have difficulty measuring the activity within their own organizations. Nevertheless, various agencies have undertaken efforts to raise awareness of telework among employers and employees, and to further integrate it into North American culture.”
Unable to lead, it is happy to admit it can neither manage nor measure. Perhaps it should at least join the dance and follow.
[button link=”http://koffeekoans.com/2011/06/15/the-us-telework-act-summarized/”]Click here for a summary of the act[/button]