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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 24, 2004
Contact: Brendan LaCivita
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Hosts Special Telework Training for Federal Agencies

Trains Six of Sixteen Agencies Reporting Less Than Two Percent Employee Participation in Telework Programs; Seeks to Increase Participation

Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) hosted a special telework training, for the purpose of training and increasing employee participation, at the sixteen agencies reporting less than two percent employee participation in telework in the 2002 OPM Report to Congress. The training was held at OPM's D.C. headquarters and provided a roundtable discussion of the latest telework trends and efforts some agencies have made to increase telework participation.

"Telework reduces traffic congestion, contributes to conservation goals, sustains business continuity and is a crucial component of agencies' emergency preparedness efforts," stated OPM Director Kay Coles James. "It is absolutely critical that agencies begin to focus more heavily on incorporating telework into their planning efforts."

Discussion at the training focused on reasons for low telework participation; steps to increase participation such as telework pilot programs for employees, on-line training, and ideas on acquiring telework equipment including laptop and recycled personal computers; and ways to overcome management resistance, including special pilot programs tailored for reluctant managers. Also discussed was using telework during emergencies, with specific examples of past regional and national emergencies.

"The only way to increase telework utilization is to continue educating employees and managers about telework's benefits," stated James. "As a federal team we must continue to create a culture that embraces the idea of telework."

OPM and the General Services Administration, 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.

OPM also is hosting a webinar, an Internet-based seminar, on June 24, where participating agencies 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 views of telework.

The agencies who participated in the training include:

Department of State

Department of Veterans Affairs

Peace Corps

Office of the Special Counsel

Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board

Office of National Drug Control Policy

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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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