New Government Survey Hammers Home Importance of Teleworking Policies

A recent survey of government employees revealed that 50 percent of government workers would switch jobs if they could telecommute more often or at all. The results indicate the importance of flexible working options to government employees and provide greater insights for federal hiring managers seeking to retain and recruit new talent. The survey, sponsored by Microsoft, questioned 257 people - 73 percent of them government employees - about their current teleworking environment, desires for telework, commuting time, and communication methods in an effort to get a sense of whether or not new technologies - in tandem with more flexible work environments - could increase productivity and employee satisfaction. Pains of the job (and some mental health issues) often begin in the car or public transit system on the way to work. According to the survey results, 48 percent of respondents were able to get to work in under 30 minutes. Others aren't so lucky, with 37 percent taking 30 minutes to an hour, and 12 percent wishing they had bought more audio books while spending 1-2 hours commuting each way. Sixty-seven percent of respondents stated they worked from home in some capacity. When asked if teleworking has affected their job satisfaction, 31 percent stated their satisfaction increased while 11 percent complained that their boss now thinks they are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Twenty-nine percent reported no difference in working style, productivity or job satisfaction. The remaining percent did not yet have a telecommuting option. Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug One of the major arguments by managers against allowing employees to telework is that their employees will become less productive and/or less available when needed. When asked how their boss felt about teleworking; 72 percent of respondents stated their bosses either supported it skeptically or were major advocates. Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug With technologies changing daily and telephone conferencing that was once a luxury for the super rich now becoming ubiquitous via software by Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Skype, it seems teleworking is only limited by policies and human skepticism over its utility. But there seems to be a gap in what's available on the market and what's being used inside the halls of government according to the survey, which found that only 3 percent of respondents were using video conference technologies and only 2 percent used collaborative document software. That number starkly contrasts the 29 percent and 32 percent of survey respondents that want to use video conferencing and document sharing technologies, respectively. Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug Clearly, a gap exists between the ability of the market to provide technology solutions for telecommuting and the use of such technologies in the government workplace. Such a gap isn't unusual for government agencies, which are slower to adopt new technologies, thanks to time-consuming procurement regulations and policy development processes. Sharp program managers and senior executives would be wise to keep their eye on the market for new technologies that can fulfill both the desires of their employees to telework and their own desires as managers to keep those employees available, visible, and productive. Click Here to Download the Full Report      
This entry was posted in Featured Stories. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.