The 2012 Telework Exchange Tele-Vision Award recipients were honored at an awards ceremony on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
The awards recognize excellence in government telework programs and their accomplishments in the following categories:
Below please find the 2012 award recipients:
Federal Telework Program Honorable Mention
Organization: Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Program: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Telework Program, “The Telework Advantage”
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Telework Program was launched in November 2009, facing the challenge of modifying CBP business processes and adapting telework to the organization’s traditional law enforcement culture. To do so, the CBP Office of Human Resources Management launched a CBP Telework Program Awareness Campaign Initiative focused on overcoming managerial resistance to telework by providing information and training to supervisors and managers on proven ways to operate within a virtual workplace.
As a result of its comprehensive efforts to introduce telework to the CBP ranks, the last two years have delivered a more than 2,000 percent increase in telework participation. In the past year alone, telework engagement by CBP employees has increased by 37.5 percent, with a total of over 3200 eligible employees participating in the telework program – up from the initial 134 approved telework agreements in place before the awareness campaign.
To encourage broader participation, a Telework Program Resource website was developed as a one-stop resource center for staff, including links to the CBP Telework Program Agreement package, Frequently Asked Questions, internal and external policies and guidance, a telework blog, and tool kits for employees, supervisors, and managers. CBP also launched a series of telework program podcasts, entitled “The Telework Advantage,” which address general information on the organization’s growing telework program, manager roles and responsibilities, and CBP successes in its first year of implementation. CBP also created a dedicated email inbox for telework-related inquiries and employees were given credit for taking telework training courses. As a result, CBP has verified more than 4,800 employees, supervisors, and managers have taken the OPM Telework 101 training courses to date.
CBP also has incorporated telework into its strategy for continuity of operations. Designated employees are equipped to telework in the event of an emergency and are encouraged to telework on a regular basis to ensure preparedness when needed.
In a recent survey, 83 percent of managers and 95 percent of non-supervisory employees reported an overall positive opinion of the CBP telework program.
CBP has focused its efforts over the past year to expand telework participation by enlisting executive leadership support, consistent internal marketing, and open union engagement. These actions have combined to make the organization more flexible, prepared, and to serve as a model for telework implementation for other Federal law enforcement agencies.
Excellence in Telework Leadership
Organization: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Program: USDA Telework Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Telework Program is an integral component of Secretary Tom Vilsack’s commitment to Cultural Transformation across the department by enhancing recruitment and retention of top talent while increasing employee job satisfaction and productivity, as well as workplace diversity and inclusion. This vision and executive leadership support has enabled the USDA to revamp its telework program during 2011 and meet the requirements of the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010.
The number of USDA employees eligible to participate in telework now stands at 76 percent – up from just 15 percent reported in 2010. In this current fiscal climate characterized by limited agency resources, telework plays a vital role in reducing the employee transit subsidies, as well as real estate and utilities costs. USDA has saved an estimated $2 million in upfront funding for its Transit Subsidy Program, based in large part on projected telework participation rates and program goals.
Employee satisfaction is reflected in the positive ratings USDA received in the2011 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey recently published by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Telework was the most improved area according to USDA employees, and telework positively impacted USDA’s higher scores in several other survey questions. Telework also provides tangible public benefits by reducing the use of limited fossil fuel resources, which in turn reduces the level of dangerous vehicular emissions and traffic congestion, while simultaneously improving air quality.
USDA began 2012 with a new commitment to “Turbo-Charge” telework. The department leveraged Telework Week with more than 7,500 pledges collectively saving $1 million in commuting costs and reducing utility usage in its Headquarter building by 100 to 200 kilowatt hours, equivalent to the amount of power that 50 to 100 homes would use in a week.
A new series of monthly webinars entitled, Let’s Talk Telework! was launched in January to help overcome common myths and misperceptions about telework, and more than 800 employees have already participated.
Telework provides a flexible workplace alternative that enables USDA employees to balance their commitment to work, family, and community, resulting in a marked change to the agency culture. The significant upswing in telework participation prompted the Telework Exchange Tele-Vision Award judges to note that, “USDA has shown innovation and leadership in its approach to telework,” and “the agency should be proud of its monumental growth in eligibility. This program has it all.”
Innovative Technology to Support Telework
Organization: U.S. General Services Administration, Office of the Chief Information Officer
Program: The A3 (Any Device, Anywhere, Anytime) Strategy
The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) established the A3 (Any Device, Anywhere, Anytime) Strategy to improve its organizational mobility. The initiative allows the agency to migrate to a mobile information technology solution, freeing employees to telework by replacing desktop computers with portable devices, including laptops, smart phones, and tablets. The technology shift provides GSA employees with secure remote access to email, network resources, and collaboration tools from outside the agency’s firewall.
The A3 Strategy has enabled GSA to offer its workforce a landmark telework agreement that serves as a teleworking blueprint for the entire Federal government. The revised GSA approach turns the tables on past policies where telework eligibility was afforded only to some approved staff members. The new agreement creates a secure telework solution that reduces overhead costs – benefiting everyone from government IT managers to agency employees and taxpayers. For example, the A3 Strategy significantly reduces electricity costs in government buildings, reducing facility carbon footprints and energy consumption. Initial cost savings are in excess of $400,000 for GSA alone. Upon rollout to other government agencies, the anticipated return on investment is expected to be measured in billions of dollars.
GSA has become a flagship agency for telework vision through the deployment of its A3 Strategy. The biggest end-user impact is the ability to use any mobile device of their choosing. Previously, GSA employees were limited in their choice of devices and mobile applications. Now, GSA team members can choose from a variety of smart phones and tablets to perform their assignments. The objective is to enable effective customer service that delivers employees with seamless, trusted access to GSA-approved applications from any mobile device. To do this, GSA employed Fiberlink’s MaaS360 Mobile Device Management platform to secure, manage, track inventory, and monitor devices from a cloud-based console. In this instance, GSA found the MaaS360 platform met the critical needs for each device, including patching software for laptops and safeguarding smart phones and tablets that can easily be lost or stolen.
The A3 Strategy sets the bar for improving sustainable government operations set forth by the White House’s mandate to work toward a zero-environmental footprint. By powering-down unused machines and moving teleworkers out of government facilities and into the field, the A3 Strategy directly supports savings in enterprise energy use and costs.
Largest Leap in Telework
Organization: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Management Directorate, Office of the Chief Administrative Officer
Program: DHS OCAO Enhanced Telework Program
The Office of the Chief Administrative Officer (OCAO) Telework Program began with a 2009 pilot where 75 participants received in-depth training and were provided with technology to support working remotely. Performance metrics were assessed through pre- and post-implementation surveys and progress was monitored through focus groups enabling the identification and resolution of challenges along the way. The results of the pilot paved the way for a permanent, expanded telework program for the DHS OCAO staff.
In the past year, telework has expanded rapidly throughout the OCAO. All 143 employees currently participate in telework at varying levels of frequency – with more than half teleworking at least 50 percent of the time. This program has resulted in reallocation of rented space and avoidance of more than $970,000 in facility costs over the past 12 months alone.
Despite initial concerns about telework by some management staff, the methodical approach taken by the organizations has led to some rather startling achievements that in turn, should help to advance telework across other government agencies:
In addition, more than two-thirds of the OCAO management team reported that retention of staff has improved and telework has been an excellent recruitment tool for highly qualified candidates.
OCAO teleworkers save an average of 14 hours each month and 206 miles of travel by not commuting to the office every day – a 100 percent increase over the prior year. Overall, OCAO staff estimate an average savings in commuting costs of $132 per month, per person.
The teleworkers who drive save $45,507 in fuel costs per year and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 113 metric tons. Those who commute by commuter rail and Metrorail reduce CO2 emissions by nearly 60 metric tons.
The DHS OCAO Enhanced Telework Program is a truly exceptional example of how a Federal telework initiative that is carefully planned, executed, and administered can ensure long-term success and measurable benefits in a challenging, law enforcement environment.
State and Local Government Telework Program
Organization: Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
Program: Continuity of Operations
Recognizing the importance of continuity of operations (COOP), the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) is focused on achieving excellence in their COOP program. The COOP program incorporates telework as an essential component, enabling the agency to carry on mission-critical functions in an emergency situation, regardless of employees’ location. The COOP program brings together a cross-functional team to maintain continuity during emergency situations and allows the agency to successfully meet the objectives required by the Governor’s Executive Order 41, which outlines state government preparedness initiatives.
In 2011, the COOP program received a score of 100 percent after four years of steady improvement. In the assessment, DGIF’s COOP was cited as a best practice model to be followed by other state agencies with language that is detailed, well-organized, and easy to follow. Following this success other Virginia state agencies contacted DGIF to support their COOP development efforts, including the Department of Health, Department of General Services, Department of Health Professions, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Virginia Information Technologies Agency. This success has established the DGIF COOP program as the best of the best and reinforces the leadership, collaboration, and communication that are core mission values of the COOP team.
As a result of the COOP program success and the demonstrated value of telework, DGIF executive leadership embraced agency-wide telework participation and supported a DGIF telework workshop led by Verizon Wireless that included more than 100 DGIF employees. Through its vigorous and public commitment to telework, the DGIF senior management team has successfully enabled more streamlined operations and broader adoption of telework agency-wide.
Mid-Atlantic Telework Advisory Council (MATAC) Telework Driver Award
Honorees: William P. Milton Jr. and Mika J. Cross
Organization: U.S. Department of Agriculture
As the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Telework Managing Officer and Telework Program Manager, respectively, William Milton Jr. and Mika Cross have been key drivers in the department-wide Telework Program, displaying tireless passion and commitment to ensure its growth and success.
The team has led a grassroots effort to promote the program nationwide, resulting in an impressive upswing in the number of teleworkers participating in the program – and perhaps more importantly, a change in the attitudes of agency management who now welcome telework and understand its benefits to the USDA and its workforce.
In the past year, these two drivers have revamped the telework program by:
In addition to these accomplishments, the honorees developed a “Turbo-Charge” telework campaign, which featured a series of monthly online telework workshops, surveys to share telework perceptions and attitudes, and active participation in Telework Exchange’s 2012 Telework Week. More than 7,500 USDA employees pledged to telework during the week-long campaign – a significant increase from 600 pledges in the prior year.
Thanks to the vision of these two individuals, USDA was asked to join OPM’s Inter-Agency Telework Advisory Group to consult on policy guidance, implementation strategies, and leveraging best practices for implementation across the Federal government.
The significant accomplishments under the leadership and inspiration of Mr. Milton and Ms. Cross have led USDA to emerge as a model for powering telework progress in large, geographically-dispersed Federal government enterprises. It is only with the tenacity demonstrated by these professionals that public sector organizations can and are changing for the better their workforce cultures and business results.
For Award Enquiries:
703-883-9000 ext. 129
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C.
For more information or to register for the Town Hall Meeting, please visit www.teleworkexchange.com/townhallmeeting.