The Defense Logistics Agency will participate in this year’s Telework Week March 4-8. The annual event was first held in 2011 and is designed to encourage public-sector agencies, corporations, small businesses, and nonprofits to try telework.
In doing so, organizations can find out what kind of productivity, environmental and business-continuity benefits it can provide, according to the Mobile Work Exchange website, http://www.mobileworkeschange.com
This year, each DLA organization has been encouraged to devise strategies for participation in Telework Week.
“[In 2012], we had lots of partnerships with local DLA Information Operations for [information technology] stress tests, whole offices out on a specific day, ‘Try it, you’ll like it’ campaigns, and so on,” Teri Eriksen, DLA telework program manager, said.
During Telework Week 2012, more than 71,000 federal employees pledged to telework, saving more than $5.6 million on commuting costs and saving drivers 6.4 million miles on the road, according to the Mobile Work Exchange.
DLA Energy led all DLA activities with 88 percent of eligible employees teleworking during last year’s Telework Week, which was also held in March. All told, more than 7,000 DLA employees teleworked during that period. In comparison, the agency’s telework participation was about 6,000 employees for the entire month of February 2012.
DLA employee participation in the telework program has grown over the past year because of an emphasis on mission continuity and readiness, program officials said.
Sixty-one percent of the agency’s workforce was eligible to telework by the end of 2012, and 44 percent of those eligible used the option in December 2012, Eriksen said. Those numbers represent increases of 9 and 10 percent, respectively.
“With our focus on continuity, we are more concerned with the number of employees who are ready to telework in the event of an emergency than we are with [the number of days employees telework],” Eriksen said. “We are looking for employees to ‘practice’ telework so that, should an emergency come, the transition to a teleworking workforce is seamless to our customers.”
According to an Office of Personnel Management website http://www.telework.gov
, the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 is a key factor in the federal government's ability to achieve greater flexibility in managing its workforce. Telework improves continuity of operations to ensure that essential federal functions continue during emergency situations and enhances employees’ work-life balance.
During Telework Week, DLA Information Operations personnel will specifically track help-desk usage to identify any surges and to assist new teleworkers, Eriksen said.
“We are hoping for the same enthusiasm and growth for this year’s DLA participation in Telework Week,” Eriksen said.