December 9, 2010 marked the day that Federal telework made a giant leap as President Obama signed theTelework Enhancement Act of 2010 into law (Public Law 111-292). As we celebrate the one year anniversary and look back over the year, there are several notable benchmarks to highlight that have spurred telework progress and have laid the foundation for continued growth and adoption.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has long been recognized as a telework leader and the agency was honored earlier this year with a Telework Exchange 2011 Tele-Vision Award as the 2011 Telework Program with Maximum Impact on Government. On November 22, 2011, the NIH Telework and Flexible Work Schedules Workgroup hosted a telework festival focused on supporting scientific research from any location. The event was open to all NIH employees and more than 800 employees participated in the event and visited the exhibits throughout the day.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is tasked with ensuring that our nation works together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from all hazards. Those hazards could include anything from a severe snowstorm, hurricane, or flood to an act of terrorism.
FEMA officials have stated that telework arrangements can be a vital tool for an agency, as a general business practice as well as a primary tool, to use before, during, and after a disaster. Moreover, telework is an excellent tactic to use in business continuity planning, because it ensures the performance of certain functions while facing a significant event.
A column highlighting recent telework news.
On November 9, 2011, President Obama signed an Executive Order “Promoting Efficient Spending.” The Executive Order (EO) requires agencies to reduce the costs associated with, among other expenditures, travel, printing, and employee information technology devices.
“Each agency should take steps to limit the number of IT devices (e.g., mobile phones, smartphones, desktop and laptop computers, and tablet personal computers) issued to employees, consistent with the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-292), operational requirements (including continuity of operations), and initiatives designed to create efficiency through the effective implementation of technology.”