Telework: Weighing the Information, Determining an Appropriate Approach

Telework: Weighing the Information, Determining an Appropriate Approach
Telework: Weighing the Information, Determining an Appropriate Approach
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This report uses survey data from Federal employees and supervisors, and other information, to provide a holistic depiction of the key benefits, concerns, and implementation considerations for organizations to weigh when determining how to integrate telework into their business strategy. The report emphasizes that the realization of telework's benefits and the mitigation of its concerns will depend on an appropriate approach to telework for a given situation and on effective management of employees within that approach. The report also discusses several key steps that organizations can take to support effective telework, such as fostering a culture conducive to telework; ensuring supervisors have good performance management skills; and ensuring a well thought-out technology infrastructure. The report's central message is the importance of weighing the applicable benefits of and concerns about telework with legal requirements and implementation considerations when making decisions about how to appropriately use telework in a given situation.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary i

Findings i

Recommendations iii

Introduction 1

Study Methodology  5

Important Things to Keep in Mind When Reading This Report . 7

Telework as a Business Strategy 9

Direct Benefits of Telework for Organizations 9

Direct Benefits of Telework for Employees 11

Indirect Benefits of Telework for Organizations 14

Telework and Productivity and Performance 20

Summary of the Business Case for Telework 24

Concerns About Telework  25

Telework and Work Unit Performance 25

Telework and Work Unit Dynamics 26

Telework and Teleworker Responsiveness and Availability 29

Summary of Concerns About Telework 30

Potential Considerations for Implementing a Telework Program 33

Culture and Leadership Preparedness for Telework . 33

Supervisor Preparedness 35

Logistical Preparedness: Technology, Equipment,

Technical Support, and Security . 41

Logistical Preparedness: Telework Education 43

Deciding on an Appropriate Approach to Telework 44

Summary of Implementation Considerations . 47

Conclusions 49

Recommendations 53

Organizational Leaders, Supervisors, and Employees 53

Organizational Leaders 53

Supervisors 54

Employees 56

Appendix A: Telework Survey 57

Appendix B: MSPB Employee Engagement Scale 69

Appendix C:

Additional Information on Study Methodology 71

Appendix D: Importance of Factors in Employees’ Decisions To Request Approval to Telework on a Routine Basis 75

Appendix E: Importance of Factors in Supervisors’ Decisions to Support or Deny Employees’ Requests to Telecommute on a Routine Basis 77

Appendix F: Importance of Factors in Employees’ Decisions To Not Request

Approval to Telework on a Routine Basis 79


Federal employees, their supervisors, agency management, union personnel, especially Human Capital officers and employees across the U.S. Federal Government may be interested in this report.  Additionally, members of Congress, and Federal managers within the Office of Management and Budget, and Office of Personnel Management that is responsible for policy making authority may find this guide helpful as a reference with human resources and civil service matters.  Additionally, students pursuing research for courses within these fields, especially public administration, human resources, employment law, organizational development, and industrial-organizational psychology may find this primary source document that deals with civil service issues helpful for assignments.

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