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Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recently hosted a second telework training session designed to train and increase employee participation at the seventeen 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.
"OPM is focused on working with these agencies to increase employee participation," stated OPM Director Kay Coles James. "Through the training sessions and other outreach efforts, OPM has been providing agencies with training on the available tools they need to incorporate telework successfully."
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.
"I continue to stress the importance of telework because of its effectiveness as a human capital management tool, and because it plays a significant role in agencies' emergency planning and preparedness efforts," stated James. "The benefits of teleworking to the environment due to the resulting ease on city traffic, as well as the time employees can allocate to their families or educational interests, are additional factors agencies should consider as they look at further implementing telework policies."
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.
In addition to the two training sessions, which trained nine of the seventeen agencies that reported minimal telework use, OPM recently hosted a webinar, an Internet-based seminar, where participating agencies heard from nationally-recognized telework consultant Gil Gordon, who drew on more than twenty years of practical experience implementing telework, as well as a panel of managers who shared their views of telework.
The agencies who participated in the latest training were:
Office of National Drug Control Policy
Small Business Administration
Postal Rate Commission
Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board
Agencies who participated in the June 22 training:
Department of State
Department of Veterans Affairs
Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board
Office of National Drug Control Policy
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.