Perhaps a minor issue in terms of national priorities: the Senate is considering a bill that would make nearly ll federal employees eligible for telecommuting.
Senators Push for More Telecommuting
By Stephen Barr
Friday, March 30, 2007; Page D04
Two senators think it's time for more federal employees to be telecommuting.
Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.) have introduced a bill that would make nearly all government employees eligible to telecommute. The bill covers employees in the executive, legislative and judicial branches.
Under current practice, employees are assumed to be ineligible for telecommuting unless their agencies select them for work-at-home programs, the senators said in a statement.
Stevens and Landrieu said the bill would reduce fuel consumption, ease traffic congestion and help government workers better balance career and family obligations...
No, it only seems like a minor issue, because it is not getting any attention from the media.
In fact, if we are to get over our addiction to foreign oil (not that it matters much whether the oil is foreign), we need to take a look at these things. If we are to address serious problems with fragmentation of families, inadequate provision of childcare, losing talented people from the workforce, job loss due to family crises, then we need to take a look at this.
Furthermore, the energy and cost savings would not be restricted to the reduction in automobile fuel costs. The costs of operating the office, providing parking, hiring replacements for people who can't make it to the office temporarily, would all go down.
I suspect that some managers are accustomed to feeling a need to keep an eye on the employees. But with telecommuting, not only is it possible to keep track of employees, it is possible to log their productivity and availability in an automated fashion. Plus, people get paid to get the job done. In managers are unable to tell whether or not the job is getting done, they need to re-evaluate their performance measures.
With any luck, this measure will pass, the practices of the federal government will have an influence on other employers, and this will become standard practice.
If the feds do this right, they will be able to demonstrate that they get lower costs and higher productivity. That might convince a few others to follow along.
posted by : Joseph j7uy5