Thursday, December 9, 2010

Connolly to Be At White House for Signing of Telework Improvement Act

Anyone who has tried to drive in the DC area knows that traffic is absolutely horrendous. I know several people who have actually moved away from the region citing the traffic as one of the major factors in their decision to leave. That is why I was pleased to see that one of the things Gerry Connolly did during his first term in Congress was co-sponsor the Telework Improvement Act, which would make it easier for federal employees to telecommute. Later this afternoon (at about 1:45), Connolly will be at the White House as Obama signs the bill into law.

Connolly had done a lot of work to increase the use of telecommuting at the local level during his time on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, so it shouldn't be surprising that he was a fierce advocate for the issue on the federal level. Just some of the changes that we'll be seeing is that there will now be senior-level employees in every federal agency that is suppose to implement telework, makes telework a key element of work response after things such as big snow storms (cause everyone knows DC tends to shut down when there's even the forecast of snow), and will have a study implemented to ensure the productiveness of telecommuting.

“There is no workforce on the planet that lends itself better to Telework, yet the federal government lags behind the private sector and local governments in implementing this common sense program. This legislation will change that and prepare the federal government for the future,” Connolly said.

“We can get people out of their cars and increase productivity at the same time with a robust federal telework program,” Connolly said. “We saw the benefits earlier this year during the back-to-back snowstorms when federal workers who teleworked while the federal government shut down for four-and-a-half days reduced productivity costs by $30 million a day.”

While this legislation has some economic benefits and will reduce traffic in the DC area, there are also environmental benefits as well. Having less cars on the road obviously results in less carbon emissions being put into the air. It won't solve all our problems, but is definitely a step in the right direction.

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