Giving telework a snowball's chance

Tuesday - 12/29/2009, 11:36am EST

When the DC area federal offices were closed for a day last month due to weather, not everyone had the day off. "Emergency employees" were expected to be at work, as always, and some teleworkers, depending on their agreements, were online and on the job as well.

According to the Office of Personnel Management, that's one of the "major benefits of a telework program": the ability to keep working when others can't.

Many federal managers may have taken advantage of the snow day to give teleworking a try, either to get work done or to test out the system for themselves.

However, Steve O'Keefe, executive director of the Telework Exchange, cautioned to Federal Computer Week, that in order to be successful, telework "needs to be planned for, and agencies need to develop best practices and incorporate lessons learned from experience on a regular basis."

Still, noted O'Keefe, brief teleworking experiences such as snow days gives managers a chance to "embrace the experience."