How do you deal with the costs of telework?

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If you read our most recent story about telework then you know the numbers of teleworking feds are increasing.

As of September 2011, there were 168,558 employees teleworking out of 684,589 deemed eligible to telework. That represents a 48 percent increase over the 113,946 teleworking employees reported in 2009, the last time the government surveyed its workforce on teleworking habits.

But how do federal employees deal with the equipment and technology costs if they are able to telework? Does your agency require you to purchase and pay for all the services you need or is the cost shared? Does the agency pick up all of the costs?

If you have any issues with the costs associated with increased telework, please email me at amedici@federaltimes.com or feel free to post in the comment section below.

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10 Comments

  1. Telework is a sham for most agencies that are “eligible” to telework. The organization sends you a nice letter that says you can and then your leadership says, no you are not teleworking. Anyone commenting on this should address the cost of a lease for office space versus teleworking.

  2. What Sam says is true enough. I fought years for 1 day per week, but the big change was due more to a new boss than a letter. Now, I’ll push for 2 days. I adore my job when I telework. In answer to your question, I happily pay for wharever it takes to work at home! I pay for everything now except for the laptop.

  3. I currently telework. The agency pays for the laptop and a BB, I pay for everything else and I’m perfectly fine with that. I’m paying for internet service at the house anyway (if I didn’t I could tether my BB to my computer for access). I don’t mind paying for the faster internet service and office furniture/other computer equipment. The commute saving I get offset any costs I incur. And the opportunity to double up in one price would surely allow the govt to save on rent.

    Like the poster before me said, its the agency heads that aren’t for it. They are afraid of accountability. But as most people state, if your a bad teleworker, you’re probably a bad worker in general. Just because someone goes in the office 5 days per week and walks around the halls and takes 3 hour lunches doesn’t mean your productive because I see your face everyday.

    In this generation of email, why not use that as an accountability tool? Send an email to your supervisor when you begin working. Send a summary email of what you did at the end of the day. It’s a bit nannyish, but if it keeps me home 2 to 3 days per week, I’m all for a little inconvenience somewhere else. At the same time, supervisors need to not over scrutinize. Not every day in the office is an overly productive one and the same goes for home. So it’s a balance.

    Good workers won’t mind a little oversight and poor workers will be exposed. It’s a win for everyone.

  4. Teleworking is a key feature for recruitment and retention at my agency. Currently over 70% of all employees have the capabilities to do some form of teleworking from working at home one day a week to fulltime telework. The agency supplies all telework equipment except for furniture and pays for part or all of the costs of high speed internet for all non-managerial employees. As a manager I would welcome my agency’s payments for internet access and that may happen in the near future but the money I save and the reduction in stress from not having to commute will delay any retirement plans for years. A win-win for all.

  5. THE bep USES THE TELEWORK AS A reward or punishment system. it is abused by the A – Team and denied to the B Team employees…
    the managers and supervisors telework and are hardly at work themselves. not to mention they have come to work then left mid day and stating as they are leaving that they will be on Telework for the remainder of the day…. whatsupwitdat!!???

  6. THE bep USES THE TELEWORK AS A reward or punishment system. it is abused by the A – Team and denied to the B Team employees…
    the managers and supervisors telework and are hardly at work themselves. not to mention they have come to work then left mid day and stating as they are leaving that they will be on Telework for the remainder of the day…. whatsupwitdat!!???

  7. THE bep USES THE TELEWORK AS A reward or punishment system. it is abused by the A – Team and denied to the B Team employees…the managers and supervisors telework and are hardly at work themselves. not to mention they have come to work then left mid day and stating as they are leaving that they will be on Telework for the remainder of the day…. whatsupwitdat!!???

  8. The reason that management is against this, as has been my experience, is that the DoD does not adequately train its leaders to be effective personnel managers. Each supervisor should know, and be accountable for every full time shift their employees work. By setting clear expectations for a full day’s (and/or week’s) work, and holding the employee accountable for that work, telework becomes no different than office work.

    Also, by providing adequate mentorship/counsleing, a manager can ensure that the employee is able to give their best.

  9. If DoD or Non DoD agencies/leadership were truthfull about not letting employees telework after becomming eligible, then that ratio would be alot different and we could begin to dive into the real issue here of why staff are not teleworking.

  10. Telework is HEAVILY abused at my agency by the MANAGERS!!!! I thought telework was suppose to save the government money, however, in my agency more costs are being incurred. For example, one manager has chosen to telework in another state in order to be with his family. He travels back and forth from the other state to the location where he was originally stationed on the government’s dime. We have another manager who has incurred $50K in additional costs to telework by traveling back and forth to the original location to “manage” her people. At the same time, the employees that work for those managers are not afforded the same opportunity even when the employee is in fact saving the government money. I think if anyone needs to be in the office on a regular basis it nees to be the managers. Our telework system is definitely being abused by management.

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