Washington, DC - Today, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released the 2012 Status of Telework in the Federal Government Report for Congress (the report), marking the first comprehensive view of telework practices across the entire federal government since the enactment of the Telework Enhancement Act (P.L. 111-92). Prior to this report, agencies submitted telework data to OPM on a voluntary basis. The report provides a baseline for measuring each agency's progress toward meeting the requirements of the Telework Enhancement Act (2010), which specified a framework of requirements to implement telework.
"This is a significant milestone," said OPM Director John Berry. "Not only does this highlight tangible changes in telework practices across the federal government, it also serves as a baseline for measuring the effects of telework in the future."
Agency implementation of the law overall is encouraging. All participant agencies in the data call had established telework policies and notified agency employees of their eligibility to participate in telework. All agencies covered by the Act had designated a permanent or acting Telework Management Officer. Additionally, agencies that collectively employ more than 99 percent of the federal workforce have adopted telework as a critical component of their agency Continuity of Operations Plans.
Although changes in data collection methodology make direct comparisons inappropriate, the report suggests progress is being made in telework participation. For example, roughly 10 percent of eligible employees engaged in routine telework during calendar year 2009 while approximately 21 percent of telework eligible employees participated in routine telework in September of 2011.
Results from the report show the strategic value agencies receive from telework, such as ensuring continuity of operations, reducing management costs and improving employees' ability to balance their work and life commitments. Teleworkers are more likely to report knowing what is expected of them on the job and feeling as though they are held accountable for results. Teleworkers are also more likely to report feeling empowered. The report provides preliminary data on cost savings realized by agencies, such as avoided real estate, energy, and commuter subsidy costs.
"Overall, the use of telework is improving in the federal government. Telework can make employees more efficient, more accountable, and more resilient in emergency conditions, and this report shows signs that we are achieving those results," said OPM Director Berry.
To view the 2012 Status of Telework in the Federal Government Report for Congress please visit: http://www.telework.gov/Reports_and_Studies/Annual_Reports/2012teleworkreport.pdf.
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