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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
Contact: Cathy McDermott
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director James Announces Upcoming "Webinar," Internet-Based Training Session for Federal Managers On Teleworking

Continuing efforts to educate managers on benefits and importance of telework, particularly in agencies' emergency preparedness efforts

Washington, DC - Kay Coles James, Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has announced that the next on-line telework "webinar" designed specifically for managers will be held on June 24, 2004. OPM jointly sponsors telework efforts with the General Services Administration.

A webinar is an Internet-based seminar, an on-line virtual "meeting," in which participants log on to a website to view a series of informational slides and discuss the contents of the slides via a telephone conference call, adding to the efficiency of teleconferences. These webinars teach managers to become fully effective in teleworking and attend important meetings "virtually," resulting in increased knowledge of and participation in telework.

"Telework is particularly important in a post-9/11 world. I continue to encourage agencies to fully embrace telework, particularly in their emergency preparedness efforts," said OPM Director Kay Coles James. "Teleworking is an essential component of the Federal government's continuance of operations plans, as well as a smart way to reduce traffic congestion in metropolitan areas."

Tasked with promoting telework to Federal agencies, OPM and GSA have undertaken a number of strategic initiatives. The ongoing multifaceted educational campaign includes a manager's handbook, promotional materials, two Internet-based courses for employees and managers, and several "webinars."

"Each component of our education campaign is crucially important as we work with Federal agency managers in increasing their understanding of and capability to implement telework policies with greater speed," added James.

The upcoming one-hour webinar will be hosted by Gil Gordon, an internationally-known telework expert. The session will feature a panel of managers discussing their experiences with employees who telework. Emphasis will be placed on telework as an essential tool in agencies' planning efforts in the event of emergencies.

In May, OPM released its annual report of Federal agencies on telework implementation during 2003. The report showed that telework is growing steadily in the Federal government and moving into the mainstream as an accepted part of an effective agency's personnel strategy. 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.

Director James added, "Despite significant progress and the many steps we have taken to increase the number of Federal employees who telework, agencies can and must do more. We will continue to educate managers and employees on the benefits of teleworking, and agency managers must further incorporate telework into their planning and operations in order to fully realize its benefits."

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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.


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