Pay/Telework Decisions Coming Up...

Tuesday - 8/31/2010, 4:00am EDT

This time next week Washington's elongated a.m./p.m. rush hours return to normal nightmare status. Kids in Maryland, Virginia and DC systems will all be back in school. Congress will be back from its extended late-summer break, and that means road-warrior status for many of us.

Fed-related items are not number one on the congressional to-do list. But Congress will need to settle on the final amount of the federal pay raise (President Obama proposed 1.4 percent), and reach a compromise on differing telework bills passed by the House and Senate.

What seems certain is that more people will be authorized to telework at least one day a week. Which could do small wonders for traffic in cities Dayton, Austin, Ogden, Huntsville, Baltimore with large numbers of federal commuters.

Once (assuming it does) Congress mandates more teleworking, a key will be how supervisors and managers deal with it. Here are some thoughts from readers:

"It's all about control and forward thinking Supervisors; and of course trust. Some Supervisors have this "Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind" mentality preventing them from Agencies readily benefiting from Teleworking form their employees.

If an employee is producing (whatever), a good Supervisor doing their job will readily know this. Setting some sort of Standards and having an equitable agreement in place will help with this.

It can't be one sided only and when things don't go good, Teleworking should not be used as a weapon by Supervisors who don't necessarily like a specific individual. Once the agreement is set; it shouldn't be arbitrarily changed without substantive reason.

As a former 30 year USDA employee, now retired, I can attest to the pro's and cons of working from home., as I worked from home for over 10 years. It is not for everyone regardless of your function. You must have disciplines to keep producing demonstratively, while working remotely; and also to walk away from it and close the door when your duty hours are done.

One of my own downfalls was not knowing when to quit. As a dedicated Federal Civil Servant of 30 years, enough was never enough. But alas I finally trained myself to turn off the Blackberry and Computer, and close my home office door. In a real emergency I could still be contacted at my home phone or on my personal cell. Since this was rarely done; it demonstrates the great success I personally had with Teleworking.

I can truthfully say, that during my career,first 10 years as a Food Inspector; 7 years as a Program Specialist, and the final 13 years as a Occupational Safety and Health Specialist; All of my Supervisors trusted me.

Thank you.

Harry E. Springfield Jr., Vineland, N.J.

  • " The persons on my "management " team allow one day of work-at-home per week (clearly under duress), while at the same time enforcing in-office "rules" regarding breaks/lunches to the letter for those who remain in-office, at times reprimanding minor violators. Can you imagine that?" Stuck In Social Security


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