In case of emergency, pull on telework

Friday - 10/8/2010, 6:44pm EDT

A fire in the Commerce Department's Hoover Building last Friday acted as a very real wake up call for some federal managers. The building was closed, but work had to go on. The answer: employees were encouraged to telework. Not just allowed to. They were encouraged.

Not that much more proof is needed for the value of a solid telework policy.

General Services Administration's Martha Johnson learned its value in her first seconds on the job. The administrator told a recent town hall meeting at the Telework Exchange, "I was sworn in by phone from my kitchen during the blizzard last winter. So, Telework is still 'who I am,' and it is also for GSA about 'who we are.'"

While Johnson said "GSA is about workplaces," she acknowledged the 21st century workplace might not be a place at all.