PTO wins work-at-home award from Washington-area governments

PTO wins work-at-home award from Washington-area governments

By Susan M. Menke

GCN Staff

JUNE 28'The Patent and Trademark Office yesterday received the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments' telework award for 2001. COG annually recognizes employers that voluntarily encourage telecommuting to reduce the area's road congestion and pollution.

PTO started its telecommuting project in 1997 with 18 trademark examiners who were allowed to work at home most of the time. It now has 90 of 400 trademark attorneys working at home on workstations supplied by the agency.

Nicholas Godici, acting undersecretary of Commerce for intellectual property and acting PTO director, said the program has raised productivity because the employees spend less of their time commuting.

'Turnover among those working at home is minimal,' Godici said. The program, which he said also reduces the need for PTO office space, will be expanded to other areas of the agency.

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