Telework survey finds workers hungry for better support

Eighty-two percent of federal workers spend at least part of their day working outside the office, yet only 16 percent of those workers give their agency or department a top grade for mobile support. That is one of the conclusions of a new survey on telework trends by the industry-sponsored Telework Exchange.

The survey of 446 workers from a dozen federal agencies also found that employees who use a smart phone for work report an average savings of 54 minutes per day. The Telework Exchange concedes that this figure was arrived at solely by user reporting and not by any sort of productivity assessment. Nevertheless, the group said great productivity gains could be realized if the 1.4 million federal employees who work outside the office were provided with smart phones. In fact, the group estimates the technology could result in savings of $37 million per day in the federal sector.

'It goes beyond telework,' said Cindy Auten, general manager of the Telework Exchange. 'It's looking at the notion of being more flexible, productive and mobile. I was shocked that 82 percent of the feds are moving all around.'

Although the survey reads like a pitch for increased use of smart phones, Auten said the technology has certain challenges. After all, smart phones are even easier to misplace or have stolen than laptop computers.

'What agencies are going to have to look at are the same issues that I think that they are dealing with and thinking about the computer,' she said. 'The technology has to fit with agency security policies.'

The survey results can be downloaded at http://www.teleworkexchange.com/fedmobility.

About the Author

Patrick Marshall is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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