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Washington, DC - The U.S. Office of Personnel Management has released its annual report of federal agencies on telework implementation during 2003. The report summarizes findings from the 2003 telework survey and describes the major telework promotional activities undertaken by OPM in partnership with the General Services Administration (GSA) in 2003.
"OPM's report on telework gives important information on how far we've already come in making the federal work place telework friendly," said OPM Director Kay Coles James. "But it also points out that there is work that needs to be done to reach our telework goals - goals that I know we will achieve."
The overall conclusion of the report is that telework is growing steadily in the federal government, whether measured by the number of employees teleworking or by the growing maturity of agency telework programs. Telework is slowly but steadily moving into the mainstream, as an expected part of an effective agency's personnel strategy, rather than as a "special" program needing a great deal of external support.
One of the major findings of the survey is that the number of telework-eligible and teleworking employees continues to grow. In 2003, agencies reported that a total of 751,844 employees (43 percent) are eligible to telework, compared with the 625,313 employees (35 percent) reported in 2002. This represents an increase of 126,531 telework-eligible employees—or an increase of more than 20 percent.
In addition, the number of employees teleworking grew from 90,010 in 2002 to 102,921 in 2003. Most noteworthy is that from the first telework survey in April 2001, when 53,389 employees were teleworking until October 2003 with 102,921 reported federal teleworkers, there has been an overall increase of 93 percent in the number of employees teleworking.
Initiatives undertaken by OPM and GSA to continue telework improvements include: special consultation and training for agencies looking to increase participation rates; a multifaceted educational campaign; Internet-based courses for employees and managers; a video tape loop; a manager's handbook; promotional materials, such as posters and newsletter articles; and, an all-day seminar with research-based experiential training on how to overcome obstacles to telework.
Our mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve work force performance.