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Telework in the Federal Government

Understanding how your talent works


What is Telework?

Telework is an alternative work arrangement for employees. It allows employees to conduct some or all of their work at an alternative worksite away from the employer's traditional office. Telework has also been referred to as telecommuting, flexiwork, and flexiplace. Understanding how your talent works is critical to understanding agency workplace flexibility needs:


Key Drivers in Telework


A changing
  • Gen-X and Gen-Y talent expect the governmental workplace to provide the same tools and online capabilities as best-in-class private-sector organizations1
  • In a compensation survey by Robert Half International, of 1,400 Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), 46 percent said telecommuting is second only to salary as the most effective way to attract top talent1
  • Public Law 106-346 requires all executive agencies to establish a telework program2
  • Executive Order 13327 requires Federal agencies “to promote the efficient and economical use of Federal real property”3
Real estate
  • For many organizations, real estate costs are the second largest expense behind salaries and benefits, yet 40 percent of federal office space is vacant on any given day1
  • Telework arrangements can reduce real estate and infrastructure costs, and help utilize existing space more efficiently
COOP and environmental
  • Telework allowed the federal government to save $30 million in productivity for each day the government was closed due to the snow storms of 2010, as part of the Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP)4
  • Telework arrangements can help reduce carbon emissions by eliminating unnecessary travel and reducing the need for new construction

1 Deloitte, "Why Change Now? – Preparing for the Workforce of Tomorrow,” (Deloitte Development LLC, 2009).
2 Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2001, Public Law 106-346, 106th Cong. (October 23, 2000).
3 Executive Order no. 13327, "Federal Real Property Asset Management," (February 4, 2004).
4 Representative Gerry E. Connolly of Virginia's 11th congressional district, speaking for the Telework Improvements Act of 2010, on May 5, 2010, to the House of Representatives, 111th Cong.

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