Interview with Anthony Costa of the GSA

10th April, 2012 - Posted by Editorial Staff - No Comments

Last week Fed UC connected with Tony Costa, Chief People Officer at the General Services Administration. The GSA has been very successful in implementing telework strategies, and we wanted more information and any best practices they could share.   The following Q&A was conducted last week.

Thank you for speaking with Fed UC. Can you provide a little background about GSA’s telework program?

Work is what you do, not where you are.  With this core belief, GSA is taking a leadership role in using mobility to meet our mission goals. GSA is preparing itself to model, consult, and apply what we learn to help guide the entire Federal government on essential workplace and workforce transformation.

Recognizing these distinct work modes allows us to support the different ways our employees get their work done.

Of course, mobility also puts a spotlight on a couple of workplace issues that have been around for a long time.  In a mobile environment, it’s even more important to plan and coordinate how teams will communicate and share information.  Success also depends on establishing clear performance expectations that enable all employees, teams, and managers to understand and focus on results.

These issues have always been important in the workplace and we welcome the need to focus again on how to do it well and how to use new tools and practices.

How does telework/workforce mobility align with GSA’s mission?

As a business tool, mobility and telework increase productivity, reduce the government’s environmental footprint, and create financial efficiencies. Here’s how:

Productivity

Mobility helps to create a better GSA product and service – it improves customer intimacy through an improved ability to be in the best place to serve our clients. It has also improved our response capabilities during disaster situations

Environment

Our carbon footprint is smaller because we use less space and employees commute less.

Financial Benefits

A mobile government needs less leased space overall, maximizing the use of government-owned space. For example, we’ve seen $28,000,000 in annual lease cost savings as we consolidate our headquarters operations from different locations.

How does GSA track telework participation and other metrics?

GSA has created telework dashboards to create agency-wide transparency of telework data and to ensure that telework is properly accounted for across the agency – and to measure the agency’s successes.

The dashboard provides real-time information regarding telework participation by division, sustainability metrics such as estimated commuting costs avoided and GHG emissions avoided as well as the overall usage of GSA’s IT services that support telework. You can learn more about our telework dashboards at:  http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/114495

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Anyone who would like more information can find it at our dedicated telework page:  http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/105192

GSA will be most successful when its employees are able to do their work where they need to do their work. Many of our employees work at customers sites away from the traditional office. We’re also working more on teams where the work is distributed in different locations.

It makes sense to recognize that learning how to work well in a mobile environment will help us become more productive. We can work at an assigned desk, with colleagues in a project room, at a customer’s worksite, or at a telework location.

 

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