Study: technology, management hinder government telework adoption

3rd May, 2011 - Posted by Meredith Lawrence - 1 Comment

When an innovative concept that can save money and help overcome large challenges is introduced to an organization, you’d expect that concept to be adopted quickly. However, when that innovative concept is telework and the organization in question is a federal agency, adoption moves slower than one would expect.

The fact is, telework and its many benefits aren’t new to the federal government. However, despite the ability for telework to save money, increase productivity and generally improve the effectiveness and efficiency of agencies, roadblocks have kept it from being widely adopted.

A new study by the Government Business Council (GBC), the research intelligence division of Government Executive Media Group has some truly telling results regarding the need for telework in the federal government and these roadblocks hindering its adoption.

The report polled over 250 federal employees across a wide range of civilian and defense agencies. Although a large majority (76 percent) of the respondents said that they wanted to work outside of the office more than they currently do, they all felt that similar obstacles are impeding their ability to do so.

Increased productivity, improved continuity of operations (COOP), better work-life balance and significant cost savings were all identified as advantages to embracing telework. So why do 76 percent of the respondents feel like they can’t telework more? What’s keeping them?

According to the respondents, management and technology are among the largest roadblocks keeping federal employees from working outside of the office.

Almost 40 percent of the respondents said that their agency management does not support working outside of the office and almost 25 percent felt their agency had unclear policies about telework. Almost 30 percent of the respondents felt that insufficient technology was the culprit. The inability to have live, face-to-face interaction also concerned approximately 25 percent of respondents.

The roadblocks to telework adoption may seem insurmountable, but they’re not. Unified communications (UC) solutions being adopted right now across many federal agencies can help to overcome all of these challenges. The different capabilities powered by UC solutions, including voice and video teleconferencing (VTC), messaging and file sharing, would not only bring advanced functionality to teleworkers, but also address many management concerns about employees working outside of the office.

In future posts on Fed UC, we’ll be discussing unified communications, its benefits and the ways in which it can help the federal government adopt telework more broadly. We’ll also highlight agencies and government organizations utilizing unified communications in innovate ways to help them more effectively and efficiently accomplish their mission.

If you’d be interested in reading the entire GBC report, click HERE. (registration required)

1 Comment


[...] The study also sought to answer that question. And the answers are very much in line with previous research that Polycom conducted with the Government Business Council (GBC) about telework [...]

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