Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Teleworking from GovGab (Ginger)

Several years ago my husband and I decided to move from the DC area because we had family obligations in Texas. It was difficult to tell my boss that I was leaving. Thank goodness I brought along a box of tissue because, as expected, he cried a lot at the news. Not really, I just like messing with him. If I mysteriously disappear from the blog next week, you’ll know that he was not amused.

Although the federal government offers its employees many benefits, at the time, telework/telecommuting was relatively new in the government. Telework was not something my office routinely offered, but happily, my management said yes to teleworking for a 3-month trial period. It has worked out so well, that here it is 3+ years later and I am still teleworking. Throughout the government, telework is now becoming more accepted. Many agencies offer teleworking one day a week to employees. My situation is a little different in that I am a full-time teleworker from Texas working out of my home for my DC office, but here are some of my observations about telework:

For it to work well, the teleworking employee has to be independent and self-motivated. A good work ethic in the office can translate into a good work ethic anywhere. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. A person who is continually unreliable in the office will only be more so teleworking. Management has to be firm about allowing only productive and reliable employees to telework. Telework isn’t a right; it should be an earned privilege. If a teleworker’s performance declines, teleworking should be revoked for that person.

Attracting new employees and better employee retention, increased productivity, and creating a federal workforce capable of continuing to work during a crisis from an alternate location are just a few of the benefits to the government.

As someone with health issues, the time I save from not commuting allows me to make healthy meals, get more rest, and make time for exercise. I also save money on gas, lunch, and my clothing budget.

Interested in teleworking? Here are some helpful government teleworking resources:

GSA telework centers
Status of telework
Success stories
Frequently asked questions about telework

Teleworking has significantly helped my life. I am healthier and less stressed because of it. Please share your teleworking comments and experiences.

To try a teleworking solution free for 30 days, visit www.viack.com to sign up!