Tuesday, December 18, 2007

USPTO: Telework Is the Answer

Deborah S. Cohn, acting PTO chief administrative officer, writes in the Federal Times:

We have seen that a successful telework program can result in greater employee productivity and performance, reduced traffic congestion and air pollution, and reduced real estate costs. Telework also provides options for individuals with disabilities, assists employers with recruitment and retention efforts and allows for continuity of operations in case of an emergency or disaster. Teleworking can greatly improve the quality of life for employees by reducing their commuting time and costs, giving them more control over their schedules and assisting them in achieving a balance between work and their personal lives.

The numbers help tell the story. As of Oct. 19, 3,609 PTO employees were participating in some form of telework. This represents 40.7 percent of our total work force and 45.7 percent of total eligible employees, making PTO’s telework program among the largest and most progressive within the federal government. What’s more, on an annual basis, PTO employees who telework collectively save more than 613,000 gallons of gas, save more than $1.8 million in fuel costs and reduce emissions by more than 9,600 tons, according to Telework Exchange estimates.

2 Comentários:

Anonymous said...

These statistics are very high. They could be including people who telework only 1 day a week and people who are only allowed to work from home to do overtime.

Anonymous said...

USPTO constantly wins awards for teleworking yet denies entire departments the ability to telework.

For example in 2005 the Computer Scientist workers in the office of OCIO became eligible to telework, but this was left up to the discretion of the immediate supervisor. There was no consistent office-wide policy on teleworking. The IT specialists in the same office were in a weaker union and had no telework agreement. In 2006, the Computer Scientists were reclassified to IT Specialists, thereby losing their ability to telework. In June 2007 a pilot was set up to allow 6 out of 400 employees to telework for 6 months. It was stated that at the end of the pilot that the program would be enhanced to include workers that currently use remote access to support critical operations. In other words the employees who occasionally work at home without getting paid for it. This leaves out the other OCIO employees that daily commute to work, only to sit in front of a computer all day and use the intranet to remotely access the servers in the next building.

By the way OCIO is responsible for implementing the technical infrastructure (hardware, software, IT security) for USPTO teleworking.

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