Mobile Work Exchange

Telework Research

The 2012-2013 Telework/Mobile IT Almanac

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| accessibility, collaboration, federal, mobility, remote access, research, security, technology

This study provides a snapshot of where Federal agencies stand on enabling remote workers, and delivers a forecast for mobile IT investments. Underwritten by Riverbed Technology and SwishData Corporation, the report reveals that 65 percent of Federal agencies cite above-average IT programs for enabling telework and mobility. Additionally, Federal IT executives expect mobile device use to increase by 20 percent by 2013. 

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Anonymous Apr 10, 2012 9:40 am

I am an Air Reserve Technician with the Air National Guard. I am often expected to work while away from the traditional work site, (for example: on Sick Leave while recovering from surgery, TDY at schools, etc...). 80% of my job can be done from a workstation anywhere in the world. No approved plan for teleworking is in place. I'm simply expected to "do it".

Why is the military, and especially the National Guard, so slow in accepting the mandate?

Matt Apr 17, 2012 11:20 am

Could there be data security concerns? That's the only legitimate reason I could think of.

Anonymous Apr 17, 2012 2:31 pm

my employer doesn't trust anyone, so telework is not an option at this time. Yet everything we do is on a computer. Makes no sense

Anonymous Apr 17, 2012 5:15 pm

I am 100% teleworker as required by the position. I get more work done than in an office environment. What makes this difficult is have one manager who does not demonstrate trust in employees. This is very destructive to the entire teleworker process. It ends up creating a highly micro management approach from such a manager causes waste time reporting micro management demands made by such a manager. One must trust their work force and any manager that does not demonstrate such a trust should be questioned. I work very closely with the work force by phone and emails and have found all on the team who are 100% teleworkers are very skilled and responsive in all aspects of our areas of responsibilities. Teleworkers have proven to save the government employer and the employee considerable time and expenses. The SES community should inform managers that they must comply with agency demands for teleworkers.

Anonymous Apr 20, 2012 10:23 am

I am in a situation where I drive 2 hours and 20 minutes a day. My manager want to micro manage her employees. The manager treats her employees like children that has to be watched. We are all experienced and delicated workers. The manager only allows the employees to do telework one day every two weeks.

Anonymous Apr 20, 2012 10:46 am

Where can I easily find a list of agencies that reimburse their employees for phone/internet?

Anonymous Apr 20, 2012 10:53 am

It is obvious from what has happened with GSA and the Secret Service organizations that there is NO ACCOUNTABILITY for the work we are supposed to be doing. This TELEWORK program should be shut down and people should be accountable to be at work and produce something. If they don't like their commute or want to reuce their corbon foot print then they should change their lifestyle to the one they want... find a different job.

Anonymous Apr 20, 2012 10:56 am

I recently had major surgery and knew I'd be out for quite some time. I am the only employee who routinely does the work that I do. It takes years to become full competent to get the job done. I was given every excuse in the book as to why I couldn't telework. I was even told that we didn't have a telework policy and no one else was being allowed to do so. This is not true. I know of quite a few employees who have been teleworking for some time. Thank goodness there were a couple of employees involved in the approval process that got things done for me. But I didn't have out I was approved until after I was home recovering from surgery and had used quite a bit of leave. If I hadn't called to inquire about my approval, who knows when I would have found out. Working at home has been fantastic. My on site work area is horrible. There are about 30 employees working in cubicles and the noise level is terrible. It's great to be able to concentrate. I've also saved money because I haven't had to drive to/from work. I keep in close contact with my fellow team members and haven't faced any problems to date.
Because of ongoing medical issues, I hope to be allowed to work remotely on occasion, so I don't have to miss work and worry that the job won't get done.
I've been with my agency for over 20 years and always go over and beyond in my job. I hope there aren't many other goverment employees facing these issues.

Accountable Apr 20, 2012 11:20 am

This is in response to Anonymous post at 10:53, Apr 20. I find your comments appalling and it is very apparent that you are completely in the dark about teleworking and accountability. The GSA and Secret Service issues are an empbarrasment to government employees, but have nothing to do with agencies that allow telework. So, you say people should just change jobs if they want to reduce their carbon footprint - to what? To a job that allows telework? Why CAN'T it be the job you know and love and have worked so hard to perfect? Accountability is both personal and supervisory. If you are not doing your job, you deserve what you get. A comprehensive telework plan can start at the department level or at the employee/supervisory level. A good supervisor will formulate a telework plan that establishes reasonable accountability for what the employee does during the workday. Working at home often allows more work to be done with less distractions and a better environment. Your comments are typical of someone resistent to change who is too lazy to keep up with a telework plan and make others' lives better. Though I've had my own struggles with telework approval, I'm very happy I don't work for or with you.

Anonymous Apr 20, 2012 11:22 am

I telework 4 days/week. I am very satisfied with the arrangement. However, I am interested in learning about reimbursement for internet and telephone expenses. Also for faxing costs when I occasionally need to fax items for work, since I do not have a fax in my home. I have to go to someplace like Kinkos, Office Depot or the UPS store to send a fax.

Anonymous Apr 20, 2012 11:44 am

Telework has its pros and cons just like everything. If planned correctly the pros can outweigh the Cons.

Anonymous Apr 20, 2012 1:11 pm

I find that teleworking works well for the person teleworking, but not so well for those of us that are in the office on the days people telework. We end up pulling stuff off the printer and getting it pulled together for the executives, since the person that is teleworking isn't here to do that...even if they prepared the material, and are able to send it to the printer here.

Anonymous Apr 20, 2012 1:15 pm

This is in support of Telework.
Ror those people asking for reimbursement for internet and telephone expenses; for whom the fact that by Teleworking you are saving hundreds of dollars in clothing, food and fuel costs as well as wear and tear on your vehicle is not "enough"; and who more often than not already have internet in the home (but might pay slightly more on the phone bill to have unlimited long distance calling) SHAME ON YOU! Think also of the MANY hours of time you are not wasting in commuting; but instead you are able to spend those hours at home with your family or doing hobbies you enjoy, or getting routine tasks done so you are freed-up more on the weekends - HOW UNGRATEFUL can a person be?! Is there no end to the GREED???
How wonderful for us and for the taxpayers who fund our salaries AND OTHER EMPLOYEE BENEFITS (By the way, that includes us!) that we are available to get the job done regardless of weather or traffic conditions, while personally saving hundreds of dollars in vehicular, food and clothing expenses!
Really, what SHOULD happen is that in exchange for the privilege of working from home, those employees who are NOT ALLOWED to (or unable, as in healthcare) should be paid MORE (or those who work at home less) - to make it "fair" all around. Those who must commute are the ones who have to shell out all the expenses noted above. There are people who have been working from home for YEARS - long before "Telework" was in the vocabulary of many if not most of us. Yet they earned the same salary as we did and had NONE of those expenses. I imagine their retirement and savings accounts are quite a bit larger than ours - or at least they SHOULD be . . .

Sonja Apr 20, 2012 1:23 pm

I don’t need to be anonymous, I stand by my comment, Mr or Mrs Apr 20, 2012 10:53 I am sorry to read telework isn't working for you or your area. Only you know if, it’s the type of workers in your area or fear of change. The world around us is changing and there are bumps as many centuries before us. Would u like for me to send u a power point. On how change should be implemented or how to get everyone on board as one unit, with the results of save you the tax payer funds? You must realize funds are being wasted everyday by most of the government agencies. I am excited to be a part of the change. Many private companies, has many workers at home. Most of the employees are more productive at home away for distractions. But playing as the devil advocate, I am sure we will have some employees to push the page, and see if they can get a free check by not producing. We have those same workers in your office, but thru working at home. You can request and track work production. You can create better cases thru proper documentation on discipline employees. I believe everyone wants every employee to carry his or her own weight. Have a great weekend.

Rick Vogel Apr 20, 2012 6:41 pm

If data security is the concern there is an NSA approved FIPS 140-2 Level 3 protected solution that offers full mobility. Look at the Imation Stealth Zone device. It is what we use for all govt work as a contractor, and it is the best investment I ever made, as there is no concern anymore no matter where I am or what physical host client I am using.

Anonymous Apr 22, 2012 7:22 pm

We were BRAC'd from the DC Navy Yard to Fort Meade, MD last August. We had 3 days of telework per week. Just before the move our supervisor's manager decided someone on the team had to be in the office with the supervisor. So with a compressed day every other week our telework was reduced to 2 days per week. Oh yeah, they had been dangling 4 days of telework per week in front on us, apparently to keep some of the experienced staff from leaving prior to the long commute to Fort Meade. So, we're going backword in the telework world!

Anonymous Apr 23, 2012 8:16 am

USDA-FSA needs to get on board with this teleworking! It is the political appointed SED's that are against it. Why? They are just political appointtees that at a minimum are around 4 to 8 years. They are messing with employees lifestyles that have worked for the agency for years and should be considered to telework more than two days a pay period. FSA is always behind in a lot of inititiatives taken by the federal government for once we should be leadiing this initiativ!!!. The Secretary of Agriculture should make it mandatory for every SED that he/she allow their employees to telework at least 4 days a pay period if applicable for that employee.

AnonEmous Apr 24, 2012 11:16 am

In response to Anonymous
Apr 20, 2012 10:53 am: I had accepted a position with nameless fed agency who lured me in from housewifery, a life of 'non-work' (eating bon-bons watching soapoperas, while cleaning the man's laundry, house, and offspring, and managing household. they promised telework to me, the mommy returning to work because they understood the need to balance home and work life, yada yada yada. well, once i was fully trained, the telework never came. in fact, they started getting grumpy about their maxiflex schedule too, which worked well with school bus schedules (ha ha, if you know school busses). long story short, YES I WENT AND GOT ANOTHER JOB CLOSER TO HOME. and this other nameless fed agency gave me telework, with lower carbon footprint to boot.

AnonEmous Apr 24, 2012 11:19 am

In response to Anonymous
Apr 20, 2012 10:53 am: and, yes, I keep a list of my daily 'chores', whether in office or out of office, because after taking time off to raise children and the hubby, my educated brain is not as agile as it used to be, so I keep a list, readily available, so I appear 'ready'.
CYOB is a constant, always and forever!

Anonymous May 2, 2012 1:07 am

So, I see there a lot of negativity about on these post regarding telework. What would happen to the United States if a disaster happened (Earthquakes, 40 days of blizzards or worse, a chemical or nuke attack). How will the government function for the rest of AMERICA. We need to have an alternative options to operate different Feds Agencies remotely without sitting in a cubicle. It is about basis survival of our Country USA. .

Anonymous May 2, 2012 1:09 am

So, I see there a lot of negativity on these posts regarding telework. What would happen to the United States if a disaster happened (Earthquakes, 40 days of blizzards or worse, a chemical or nuke attack). How will the government function for the rest of AMERICA. We need to have an alternative options to operate different Feds Agencies remotely without sitting in a cubicle. It is about basic survival of our Country USA. .

Anonymous May 2, 2012 1:13 am

Technology is the new E-Manager, so who needs to sit in a cubicle. The new manager today should know enough about computer supervisory tools to monitor what their employees are doing remotely. The insecurities of not having the employee sitting in a cubicle should be the past, the evidence of productivity is the key to assessing how well telework helps.

Anonymous Jun 26, 2012 6:33 am

It seems like the supervisors aren't really willing to allow people to telework. Alot of stuff I can do from home and accomplish more than I am here because I would devote the time until it is complete. Even though this is a new age, the supervisors aren't willing to go with the flow of things. You always get that on and off situations, like they have control of a light switch and turn it on and off at any given time when they feel like it without reason. I really don't think it's fair if you have a good employee that is actually working and wants to telework and can't. That it definitely no way to retain good employees.

Anonymous Dec 11, 2012 8:19 am

Our biggest challenge in our agency is the IT equipment used to telework. We need a serious make over. Help!!! Teleworkers use lap tops, a blackberry, FOB, and/or a mobi key. If anyone has any suggestions/recommendations/concepts, please post.

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Anonymous Jul 29, 2013 2:06 pm

The AF DOES ahve telework for drilling Guard, and Reserve members.

There is even a regulation that explains how members can do limited drills via telework!

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