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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Contact: Brendan LaCivita
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director Kay James Announces Two Special Agency Telework Trainings

Events targeted at boosting federal telework participation

Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued a memorandum to agency Chief Human Capital Officers (attached) informing them of two special telework trainings the agency will host. The trainings are being held, in part, due to the positive impact telework has on a number of key personnel issues, such as recruitment and retention and increased productivity, as well as a host of other benefits.

"Agencies need to do more to encourage telework among their employees," stated OPM Director Kay Coles James. "Telework is not only about reducing automobile traffic and congestion, but a matter of sustainability of business operations. In this post September 11 era, telework is a critical part of agencies' emergency preparedness efforts and continuance of operations plans."

A special meeting designed for those sixteen agencies that reported less than two percent employee participation in telework in the 2002 OPM Report to Congress, will be held at OPM's headquarters, 1900 E Street, NW, on June 22, 2004, at 9 a.m. and will provide a roundtable discussion of efforts some of the agencies have made to increase telework participation.

The second event is a webinar at 11 a.m. on June 24, 2004 open to all agency managers and telework coordinators. 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.

During the webinar, participants will hear from nationally-recognized telework consultant Gil Gordon, who will draw on more than twenty years of practical experience implementing telework, as well as a panel of managers who will share their "from-the-trenches" views of telework.

"We need to continue our efforts to make agencies aware of this remarkable personnel flexibility at their disposal. Although much has been done to improve telework participation, far more can be done," stated James. "By creating events such as the webinar, we are reinforcing for federal human resources managers the well-known benefits of telework, and highlighting some important aspects such as emergency planning and preparedness."

OPM and the General Services Administration (GSA), OPM's telework partner, have worked closely with other federal agencies and the offices of congressional members to promote telework and educate federal human resources managers and employees on its effectiveness as a human capital tool. Last November, OPM and GSA sponsored a one day "Telework - It Works" training conference to highlight the benefits of teleworking and to dispel perceptions that might act as a barrier.

OPM also has developed a telework tool kit for federal agencies to use in their telework efforts. The tool kit contains posters, cafeteria table cards, brochures for agency distribution, as well as a compact disc and a video that illustrates how teleworking benefits employees and their agencies, with remarks by Director James.

The most recent telework report found that the number of telework-eligible and actual teleworking employees continues to grow. In 2003, agencies reported that a total of 751,844 employees (43 percent) were eligible to telework, compared with the 625,313 employees (35 percent) reported in 2002, 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.

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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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