Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 Encourages Work At Home

Posted by | December 16, 2010 | Blog, General

In a move to save money and the environment while also creating happier employees, the Federal Government hopes to expand its home based workforce which currently includes only about five percent of federal workers.

President Obama recently signed the TELEWORK ENHANCEMENT ACT OF 2010 into law which requires federal agencies to produce policies and procedures to promote more home based working arrangements within their departments. It also requires each agency to appoint a Telework Managing Officer to supervise the program.

This law requires federal agencies to allow all eligible employees to be given the opportunity to work from home. Generally, “eligible” employees are those with jobs conducive to telework such as office and executive personnel as long as they have the necessary home office tools and equipment. Employees that work in emergency capacities or that require significant onsite presence are not eligible.

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The report identifies five key steps agencies can take when establishing their telework programs: 

    1. build management support


    1. define essentials to demonstrate return-on-investment and overcome resistance


    1. train managers and measure productivity


    1. supply secure, effective and affordable telework technology


    1. enhance continuity of operations plans.

To offer incentives that will encourage telecommuting, the law also enables agencies to cover the travel expenses of telecommuting employees who may need to occasionally drive to work.

The government also hopes to expand the opportunities for federal employees to work from home occasionally when the need arises, such as in times of bad weather. “The need for this is clear,” said U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director John Barry. “Nobody has forgotten ‘Snowmaggedon,'” he said. ‘Snowmaggedon’, which produced record snowfall totals in the Washington DC area forced many offices to close for as long as a week. Barry said, “Unscheduled telework is a new option for federal employees to telework, to the extent possible, when severe weather conditions or other circumstances disrupt commuting.”

HomeworkersNet is a passionate advocate for expanding the role of telecommuting and home based work in both the federal and civilian workforce. We applaud President Obama for signing the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 into Law.

You can read the bill in full HERE

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