Although many people look at it as a way to reduce traffic and help protect our environment, it appears as though teleworking could also prove to be very beneficial during times when government offices are shut down due to weather. In a letter that he sent to OPM Director John Berry, Rep. Gerry Connolly wanted to know just how much teleworking could save the federal government.
In a letter to Berry, Connolly asked him to quantify how many telework agreements in government require employees to keep working during office closures, and to determine what percentage of employees operating under such agreements worked remotely during the storms that have paralyzed Washington.Since people who sign a teleworking agreement might have to work when others don't due to office closures, Gerry also wants to speak to John Berry about the possibility of some incentives for teleworking. While I'd like to see specifics about the incentives, I think this could be a very good thing to investigate. After all, I imagine the incentives wouldn't cost more than the savings that occur due to the lost productivity that's prevented by people continuing to work. When you factor in the side benefits such as less traffic and less harm to the environment, I'm very pleased to see that Gerry is pushing this concept.
Connolly told Berry he wanted to know what productivity savings the federal government achieved by having those employees work through the storm, and what savings might have been achieved if the federal government had succeeded in getting 20 percent of its workforce on telework agreements -- a goal included in legislation Connolly co-sponsors.