Don’t Get Your Kicks On Route 66

Within the next six months you should find out whether you are a candidate to work from home at least one day per week. Congress has made it official, now Senio...

If all goes as planned (and what could possibly go wrong?) you should know by April 2011, at the latest, if you are a serious candidate to telework.

A compromise bill approved Wednesday requires federal agencies to set up serious, transparent work-from-home programs. Once signed by the President (and he will sign it) the 180-day get-serious-about-teleworking countdown begins.

This one is different from past teleworking efforts in that it requires agencies to identify in writing – and follow-up notification to individuals – only those employees who are NOT eligible for the teleworking program. In the past, the emphasis has been on who could, maybe, might telework.

In the past some agencies have been serious about teleworking. Others not so much. A few were found to have designated a handful of teleworkers in their reports to Congress. What they didn’t say was that some of the people teleworked as little as one or two days a year.

After telework eligibility is established the agency must enter into a written telework agreement with employees. That will include anything and everything from work hours to production goals.

Various members of Congress – Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) – have pushed teleworking for more than a decade. Both represent congressional districts that are chock full of federal workers and Wolf’s Northern Virginia district has the second worst traffic in the nation (behind LA.) Long-suffering commuters on Route 66, I-95, 270 and our beloved beltway, spend thousands of hours (and burn up lots of gas) getting to and from work. And our public transportation system is better than most major areas.

But with exceptions like the Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Va., and some Internal Revenue Service offices, teleworking has been slow to catch on.

It got a big jump start earlier this year when the Washington area was slammed with back-to-back snowstorms, including one that buried the city and produced a week long government furlough under 30-plus inches of snow.

Many feds, if they were not among the 250,000 homes without power for 4 to 7 days, were expected to telework even as their office-bound colleagues were told to stay home. With pay.

The blizzard of 2010 convinced lots of snowbound officials and politicians that the government needs the ability to continue operations here, where we live inside the bullseye, and in Chicago, Ft. Collins, Philadelphia, Atlanta, San Francisco, Ogden, New York, Oklahoma City, Dallas-Ft. Worth and other major federal centers.

As if to remind politicians that the teleworking deal needed to be signed, sealed and delivered before they left town, the East Coast yesterday was spanked by a mini-monsoon. It turned many of D.C.’s beloved commuter arteries into elongated parking lots. It was a good reminder that blizzards and terrorist attacks aren’t the only events that causes major traffic jams.

Lobbyists for federal unions and groups that represent managers, supervisors and executives played a major role in getting this Congress, which has suffered no casualties due to overwork, to okay teleworking before hitting the campaign trail. For more on the new program, and some comments from those who have seen teleworking up close and personal, click here.

To reach me:

Nearly Useless Factoid: Friday Night Lights Edition
by Suzanne Kubota

Last Friday, the Snohomish Panthers played the Lake Stevens Vikings in Washington state. The final score was Vikings 35, Panthers 6. The six lone points for the Panthers were the result of “The Ike Special,” a play designed for 17-year old Ike Ditzenberger. Despite being on the “losing” team, reports Ike’s mom says, “He’s not the shy little boy with Down’s (Syndrome) anymore. He’s one of the guys now.”

35-6. It’s a factoid. But it’s far from useless.

<a href=";brand=foxsports&#038;from=sp&#038;vid=5a284b21-750c-4a1f-8a2a-139d26ef9ecd" target="_new" title="Inspirational TD run">Video: Inspirational TD run</a>

Agencies discuss how to measure government performance
Each administration brings its own approach to managing operations and performance of the federal government. The emphasis in the first couple of years of the Obama administration has been on detailed measurement and public display of results, using an array of management techniques and online tools. Putting those tools to effective use is the subject of our special Federal News Radio Discussion: Meeting Mission Goals Through Technology.

Changes coming to
We’re making some tweaks to the homepage, including some improvements to our nav bar and the way we deliver to you the most important news stories of the day.

Take Our Survey!
Today’s the last day to participate in our Greening of Government survey. As part of a Federal News Radio special report, we are conducting an anonymous survey of federal employees and contractors about how their agencies or agency customers are becoming more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Your participation will greatly help us in putting together this report. We will publish the results of the survey at during the week of October 4.

Who is the best dressed fed?
Is there someone in your agency with a great fashion sense? Nominate him or her as part of our Best of the Federal Government series. Nominations will be accepted through Friday, Oct. 4.

Copyright © 2024 Federal News Network. All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.