How your IT shop can help/hurt your telework plans

Sunday - 12/18/2011, 10:46pm EST

By Julia Ziegler
Federal News Radio
@jzieglerWFED

Ok, so you've designed your telework program, you've identified who is eligible, and now it's time to implement the plan. But can you? Is your IT department set up to do so?

Mark Gibbs of CIO.com says, "many organizations' IT infrastructures aren't set up to make it easy to telework." In a recent blog post for the website, Gibbs said IT shops need to be proactive in order to make their companies' telework programs successful.

According to Gibbs, that means setting up a system where usage patterns and other important information about facilities, equipment and telework services can be monitored. "Without this kind of oversight there's a real danger of wasting money on over-provisioned services as well as wasting staff time when they have to use slow, under-provisioned services," Gibbs said.

He also recommends repeated, scheduled testing of an organization's telework infrastructure in addition to training all teleworkers how to use the equipment provided to them. More importantly, he said, IT departments should consult with the teleworkers themselves to find out what works, what doesn't and what could be improved.