Telecommuting in the Federal Government

Essay by briantrimzUniversity, Master'sA+, April 2004

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There has been a great deal of confusion about the definition of telework, or telecommuting. While there is no commonly accepted definition, the following is frequently used, "Telework occurs when paid workers reduce their commute by carrying out all, or part of, their work away from their normal places of business, usually from home." (Bailyn) Some believe that all telework requires the use of technology; others believe that it refers only to employees, while others believe it applies to employees and all self-employed home-based workers. Telework, also referred to as telecommuting or flexiplace, has gained widespread attention over the past decade in both the public and private sectors as a human capital flexibility that offers a variety of potential benefits to employers, employees, and society. (Niles)

Organizations that have the greatest success with telework tend to integrate telework so that it fits within their existing legal, financial, administrative, human resources etc.

infrastructure. They ensure that telework is voluntary, subject to management discretion, operationally feasible and results in no additional costs. (Christensen)

Telework organizations take full advantage of new technologies and new ways of working to focus on the work performed rather than on the location where it is performed. They discover first hand how it increases productivity while reducing accommodation costs, layoffs and absenteeism. As the information revolution reshapes our corporate and personal lives, moving us closer to a global society, telework also represents a major step towards working anywhere, anytime. As one of the key workplace transformers of the next decade, there is little doubt that it will inevitably and dramatically reshape how work is carried out in United States and throughout the world. (Kraut) Also, telework is emerging as an important and attractive work option for the Federal Government and its employees. It has the benefit...