In a previous post, we discussed how the cost-saving video teleconferencing (VTC) solutions that agencies need can still be acquired and implemented despite impending sequestration and ongoing budget cuts.
Despite budgets being tight, advances in technology and new approaches to purchasing Unified Communications (UC) hardware have made these solutions more accessible. Video-as-a-service hosted in the cloud, extended payment options and other advances have eliminated the high, upfront capital expenditure and made these technologies available via lower, monthly operating expenses.
This is important, since the cost savings, flexibility and mobility that these solutions deliver are extremely needed in today’s federal agencies. But there’s another reason why VTC is so essential – productivity.
The threat of sequestration has federal employees concerned about the potential for furloughing. This essentially means that federal employees would be forced to take mini vacations. Unfortunately, these unexpected holidays would be unpaid.
The concept of furloughs can be just as frightening for agencies themselves as it is for employees. With a reduced workforce and less manpower, senior leaders worry that their federal agencies will slow to a grind and struggle to accomplish their mission.
And even if sequestration and furloughs don’t occur, the federal government is currently operating under hiring freezes and other HR initiatives designed to save money by curtailing the amount of new hires entering agencies. The end result is agencies left with vacancies and fewer resources than they need to serve constituents.
By implementing VTC solutions, agencies can effectively overcome the furloughs, hiring freezes and other short circuits in manpower by simply increasing the productivity of the people they do have.
VTC can enable face-to-face communication and collaboration between individuals, regardless of where they’re located. This means that the distributed federal workforce can more effectively collaborate with other employees within their agency, and between agencies, without needing to physically be in the same location. This eliminates travel time, expedites meetings and ultimately frees up time for federal employees that would have been used in transit.
In addition to eliminating travel, VTC can also make impromptu meetings and communication easier, enable information sharing and otherwise expedite decision making. By making experts and information more readily available for senior leaders, important agency decisions can be made more quickly, eliminating the time wasted waiting for strategic direction to be provided.
Finally, VTC can enable telework, which vastly improves employee productivity.
As we’ve discussed in previous posts, management uncertainty remains one of the largest contributors to the slow adoption of telework in the federal government. Managers are concerned that employees that aren’t visible aren’t working. They are also concerned that collaboration and communication will be nonexistent with employees working outside of the office. VTC eliminates all of these concerns and opens the door for further telework adoption within agencies.
Teleworking employees are capable of working anytime and anywhere. They have the flexibility to do their jobs when they’re personally the most productive. They also tend to work longer hours since they no longer waste time commuting to their offices.
Sequestration and ongoing budget deficits have the potential to create serious problems for federal agencies when it comes to manpower and resources. By increasing flexibility, increasing productivity and eliminating time wasted via travel, agencies can overcome these challenges and continue to provide the services that constituents need. VTC is the tool that can make this possible, and it’s more accessible than some may think.