Powering and empowering the virtual worker in 2012

After the passing of the Telework Enhancement Act the year before, 2011 was a time of transition for federal agencies, which moved to integrate telework into their workplace programs and plans. But as 2012 picks up speed, agencies’ focuses are shifting to augmenting the technologies used to link the virtual and physical work environments, and improve the ability for all of their employees to collaborate, regardless of their location, writes Federal Computer Week’s Camille Tuutti.

While laptops and smart phones have become the norm, agencies are looking forward to what the virtual worker will need to do his or her job remotely and do it well, the article said.

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“One of the things we have to work on is technology,” said Pat Tamburrino, deputy assistant secretary for civilian personnel policy at the Defense Department. “Laptops are good, but I’m personally wondering what’s beyond laptops. What other things should I be thinking about for the DOD employee to make telework and telepresence much simpler? I’d love the CIOs and the [chief technology officers] to say, ‘What’s the next breakthrough thing we would have to do?’”

Most likely, the next big “breakthrough” will be the advancement of mobile applications, which could even result in a virtual mobile apps store for feds in 2012, Tuutti writes.

Access to meetings and events onsite could also be easier with virtual conferences and conference calls.

Overall, the ability to telework is transforming the productivity of the federal workforce.

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