Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Touchy-Feely Workplace: The Federal Government

Once again that behemoth, the General Services Administration, is actively working to encourage telecommuting. One reason, according to a study covered in this article in EWeek, is because federal workers just aren't taking advantage of the programs that exist:

Just 140,694 federal workers telecommuted in 2005, 7.7 percent of the
federal work force and less than one-fifth (19 percent) of those who were
eligible, according to a report released by the U.S. General Services
Administration Jan. 29 as part of an effort to attract more workers into their
telecommuting program.

On the face of it, this seems like kind of an indictment of remote work, but the study goes on to reveal GSA's real interest in promoting telework:

In data collected from their 14 telework centers, the GSA found that these
facilities had saved commuters nearly 2.8 million miles of travel, or 115
thousand gallons of fuel and 2.3 million pounds of emissions.

Telework = big savings (and, as many survey respondents noted, career satisfaction). For the people who throw caution (and their concerns about ever being promoted again), most react positively to working without spending quality time in their cars staring at the bumpers in front of them.

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