Key Takeways from the Telework Exchange Town Hall

by Emily on November 14, 2011

in Telework

Attended another Telework Exchange Town Hall a few weeks ago and what a great event this is. It’s a well attended gathering that always yields interesting presentations, insights and conversations. A few key highlights:

  • The Secretary of Transportation, Sean Connaughton reinforced the state of Virginia’s strong support of telework for a decade. 170 employers signed up to participate in telework programs to date, and an effort is underway to look at how to incentivize telework for non-profits.  Regional commuting patterns in Virginia are also being evaluated and the State is looking at hot lanes, ways to get more employees off the road and provide more opportunities for telework.
  • Sharon Wall, Regional Commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service in New England and Telework Program Management Officer at GSA continues to be a leader in the government world with their innovative PMO Office for Telework and PMO measurement team. An interactive dashboard has been developed to track telework outcomes and provides a window into which agency organizations foster telework by showing how they line up with one another in terms of approvals and participation rates.
  • Mika Cross, Work Life and Wellness Program Manager from USDA shared that the internal cultural transformation initiative spearheaded by Secretary Tom Vilsack has been a catalyst for linking strategic human capital goals and is a primary driver in building an inclusive workplace. Mika’s leadership has helped to ensure the USDA telework policy has been promoted successfully with a new telework agreement form and the launch of interactive training for employees.  The agency is now turning attention to a cost savings data model and a metrics tool to track telework outcomes.
  • Arleas Upton Kea, Director, Division of Administration at FDIC is also a leader in building a results oriented performance culture.  A remarkable 50% of employees participate in the telework program at FDIC and the agency sees it as essential to meeting their mission. FDIC has realized $4.9 million dollars in cost savings from reducing office space over a decade and uses telework as a recruitment tool.
  • Jim Neighbors, Principal Deputy Director, Requirements and Strategic Integration, at DoD shared insights about knowledge workers within the DoD world and the requisite shift in thinking that’s necessary to help change a business mindset. DoD has realized $19.8 million dollars in cost savings, in part through reduction in real estate costs and in retaining valued employees through telework intiatives that help promote and extend years of service.

There were many other highlights that came out of the day including (but certainly not limited to) how to develop creative solutions for social gatherings and milestones in the workplace like virtual coffees, lunches and community day events that foster teamwork and collaboration.  One example of this comes from NIH – they are holding an upcoming telework festival day on November 22, 2011. The closing session included a collaborative interactive ideas exchange which was a great way to end the day and worth the read.

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