Creating Buy-In for Telework

The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 directed agencies to establish policies and procedures for telework and was intended to allow employee work/life balance while allowing the Federal Government more options for managing its workforce.

Despite several years of established telework policies, a recent survey shows that one-third of respondents indicated that they do not yet telework, but are interested in doing so. The GovLoop survey outlined in, Agency of the Future –Telework, gained insight into reasons why telework is not being adopted at a quicker rate. The survey results indicate that the biggest telework obstacles include:

  • Lack of buy-in from “old-school” managers
  • Lack of a technological environment to support telework
  • Lack of trust between teleworkers and co-workers
  • Concern about missing important events and information
  • Policies which extremely limit allowed telework time

If you’re not convinced that telework is worth the effort, a helpful telework infographic shows some of the benefits of making it work at your agency. If you’re already committed to telework and interested in improving your current policy, or maybe just getting a conversation started, below are four points to consider:

Build Buy-In of Senior Leaders

Developing an outline of the benefits to telework is the first step to convincing leadership to fully support the initiative. For examples of monetary and quality of life benefits, there are several Federal workplace calculators available online.

Develop Performance Metrics

Performance management tools and measures already in place may need to be reevaluated to include a telework workforce. Evaluating telework accomplishments against mission goals will help to build trust.

Assure Technology and Technical Support

Technology and support personnel are the backbone of telework. Plan ahead for the support needs of a virtual workforce.

Develop Supporting Telework Agreements

Employees who telework are required to have written agreements in place. Use the telework agreements to outline the performance metrics and communication requirements that will be necessary to ensure successful outcomes.

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