Are federal managers getting the telework training they need?

Sunday - 8/21/2011, 5:48pm EDT

The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 required each agency in the federal government to implement a telework policy for employees. It also mandated training for both teleworkers and their managers. But is that training happening?

According to a recent informal survey by the American Management Association, 86.8 percent of respondents said increased telework training has not been built into their 2012 budgets. Only 4.4 percent of those responding to the survey said their training and development budgets have increased due to the legislation. Another 16.7 percent said they are adding classes to address their telework needs.

"It [telework] requires upfront expenditures to do it right - training the managers, training the employees who'll be teleworking, not to mention the logistics and equipment considerations," said Sam Davis, vice president of AMA's Enterprise Government Solutions in a press release.

According to the latest telework data from the Office of Personnel Management, just under 114,000 federal employees teleworked in 2009.

Telework growth in the federal government continues to outpace the private sector, according to statistics from the Telework Research Network. From 2005-2009 the number of government teleworkers grew by 400 percent, the organization says.