OPM Changes Telework Data Call Process to Improve Accountability
In April, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report that carefully reviewed the process used by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to collect information on agency telework programs, a requirement of the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010.
As telework has evolved in the Federal workplace, so too must the ways in which it is defined, managed, and measured. As such, OPM assembled the Interagency Telework Measurement Group (ITMG), which includes ten agency officials from seven agencies. Following the ITMG review of the existing data call methodology, OPM initiated a refined, automated telework data collection process.
While telework data often is collected by counting telework agreements and by relying on estimates, the new process is based on agency time and attendance tracking systems. OPM officials anticipate the governmentwide implementation of automated data collection will provide more reliable results. OPM began to communicate internal requirements for this process to telework managing officers in March 2012, and does not expect full automation of telework data until 2013.
The ITMG also developed standard definitions for terms such as telework, eligibility, and employee, to encourage common reporting methodology across the agencies and for consistent application by all participants in the data call. Specifically, the group instructed respondents to ensure they exclude military and contract personnel as employees when reporting telework data. The ITMG also clarified that respondents should include full-time, part-time, and intermittent employees when responding to questions about telework participation and frequency.
In an effort to improve data quality, the ITMG members carefully evaluated and revised the data call questionnaire. For example, OPM officials added a new question to capture the number of mobile workers, to eliminate confusion in past data collection when some agencies co-mingled mobile work with telework reporting.
To read the full GAO report, visit http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/590219.pdf.
Department of Defense Launches New Civilian Telework Policy
On April 20, the Department of Defense announced a new telework policy for its civilian workforce. The policy notes that telework shall be:
“Actively promoted and implemented throughout the DoD in support of the DoD commitment to workforce efficiency, emergency preparedness, and quality of life. Telework facilitates the accomplishment of work; can serve as an effective recruitment and retention strategy; enhance DoD efforts to employ and accommodate people with disabilities; and create cost savings by decreasing the need for office space and parking facilities, and by reducing transportation costs, including costs associated with payment of transit subsidies”
As such, DoD leaders, from the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to the heads of individual DoD components, are expected to support and promote telework efforts and the updated policy clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of each level of leadership.
“Telework is a powerful tool, one that helps DoD maximize the agility it needs to operate in all kinds of conditions, while promoting workforce efficiency, and quality of life,” said Paige Hinkle-Bowles, deputy assistant secretary of defense, civilian personnel policy.
Hear more from Ms. Hinkle-Bowles at the Spring Town Hall Meeting on May 2. She will be speaking in the session focused on, Meeting Requirements and Making it Work, at 9:30 a.m.
Click here to view the announcement and the full telework policy.
Spring Town Hall Meeting: Telework Week 2012 Report Launch and Tele-Vision Awards Ceremony
Telework Week 2012 drew in more than 71,000 employees across the nation pledging their collective support to telework – an encouraging 80 percent increase from Telework Week 2011. Following the event, Telework Exchange collected data from participants and executed an online follow-up survey to capture lessons learned and provide insight into the most important telework trends today. Telework Exchange will release the Telework Week 2012 Report at the Spring Town Hall Meeting on May 2.
Telework Exchange also will host the 2012 Tele-Vision Awards Ceremony during the closing session at the Spring Town Hall Meeting. The awards recognize outstanding telework programs and government executives who are driving telework progress.
The 2012 Telework Exchange Tele-Vision Awards will honor winners in the following categories:
Join us at the Spring Town Hall Meeting on May 2 for a day of recognizing and celebrating telework progress.
“Ramp Up Your Savings: Measuring the Telework Returns” Complimentary Webcast
On May 17, Telework Exchange and Cisco will host the “Ramp Up Your Savings: Measuring the Telework Returns” complimentary webcast. The event will focus on how to identify key factors that contribute to telework return on investment and how to develop effective measurement methods. Agency representatives will discuss measurement techniques as well as management and technology considerations to address when determining telework effectiveness. Panelists also will share best practices to leverage cost savings and avoidance to build effective business cases for telework – highlighting results through real estate, utility, and commuter savings, in addition to reduced recruitment and retention costs.
Attendees will learn:
To learn more and register for this event, click here.