GSA offers free use of telecenters for 60 days

The General Services Administration once again is trying to attract federal employees to use one of its 15 Washington metro area telework centers.

Starting Feb. 1, GSA is offering a 60-day free trial to federal employees who have never used the telework centers. The offer ends March 31.

The latest free trial is another effort to increase the number of teleworkers. Under the Transportation Department appropriations bill of 2000, the Office of Personnel Management and GSA by Sept. 30 must offer all eligible employees the opportunity to telecommute.

GSA officials said the telecenters are filled half to capacity on any given day. A total of 451 teleworkers use the centers in any given month. GSA said most teleworkers use the centers less than eight days per month.

In the most recent teleworking survey by OPM, agencies have offered about 68.5 percent of all eligible workers the opportunity to telecommute, which is above the congressionally mandated 50 percent goal set for 2002.

The report said 90,010 employees, or about 5 percent of all feds, telework, up from 74,487 in 2001. The 21 percent increase can be attributed to more agencies establishing telecommuting policies, the report concluded.

The free trial would save agencies $26 a day per employee, GSA officials said.

The agency offered a similar two-month, no-cost trial last April and 130 feds from nine agencies took advantage, GSA officials said. Of those, 48 are still using the centers.

Click to link to a list of Washington telecenters.

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