According to the 2012 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, teleworkers across all government departments and all salary levels reported a 7 percent higher productivity and job satisfaction rating than non-teleworking employees. In fact, teleworkers at the lowest pay categories demonstrated a 12 percent increase in perceived benefits, the most positive reaction to the method. The government-wide report focused on "employees influencing change."
Telework Enhancement Act increases awareness
In 2010, the Telework Enhancement Act enforced employee notification of their option to telework either on a temporary basis several times a week, unscheduled due to conflicts with getting to their office or on a permanent basis.
The survey found that the highest level of participation was within the General Services Administration (GSA): eight out of 10 of those employees telework and more than 60 percent do so at least once or twice a month. Telework was also common within the The National Science Foundation and Education Department employees, with three out of four participating, and The Office of Management and Budget telework activity increased more than 30 percent.
With telework becoming increasingly common, the GSA has implemented training sessions to educate workers on the advantages of working remotely. Anthony Costa, Chief Human Capital Officer for the GSA, commented on these efforts.
"Through senior leadership engagement and commitment, telework at GSA has provided greater balance for work and life responsibilities for employees," he stated.
Telework benefits the environment, the enterprise and the employees
This increase in telework adoption has had a significant environmental impact as traffic has been reduced due to a decrease in commuters, thereby minimizing gas emission pollutants.
John Berry, Director for the Office of Personnel Management Government, explained in his introduction to the survey that budget and payroll concerns have been a particularly stressful factor for public servants. The survey demonstrated that telework has allowed for more schedule flexibility and time management, thereby improving worker motivation and efficiency. Telework also reduces the potential for sick days that hinder productivity, which is a significant advantage for employers.
For these reasons, government agencies promoting telework could have an immensely positive impact on the adoption of telecommuting programs in other organizations.