At first glance, Jonathan Whitworth does not fit the mold of a stereotypical metropolitan-based, desk-bound teleworker. This research plant pathologist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service spends his time between the fields of Idaho, in greenhouses, or in the lab and office, developing and testing new, hardier, disease-resistant varieties of the potato.
Earlier this month, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released its annual Telework Report, that continues to show why the organization is widely recognized for its leadership and vision in implementing effective alternate work arrangements. Since 1997 when the USPTO initiated its first telework pilot program with 18 trademark examiners, the organization has refined its approach and expanded its telework program to become an integral enterprise-wide business strategy, as well as an award-winning model for many other government agencies.
Even with the weight of the Obama administration and a number of governors now fully behind the telework movement, Federal, state, and local telework advocates continue to find their expansion efforts challenged by cultural resistance and entrenched management practices. The upcoming Telework Exchange Spring 2012 Town Hall Meeting to be held on May 2 in Washington, D.C., will feature a three-session track offering insights from seasoned professionals about how to successfully address the most difficult cultural stumbling blocks and management concerns facing government telework programs today.
Most Federal agencies have readied their information technology (IT) infrastructures to handle an expected deluge in telework and mobility adoption over the next two years; however, some agencies must undertake additional preparations, concludes a new Telework Exchange survey of 152 Federal IT managers.
A column highlighting recent telework news.