Written byDavid Stegon
The General Services Administration expanded its commitment to mobility and flexible workplaces today with the release of a new mobility and telework policy that aims to be a guide for the rest of the federal government.
GSA Administrator Martha Johnson and Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry were on hand at GSA’s First Street headquarters as GSA Chief People Officer Anthony Costa signed the policy into agreement.
“We are really facing down telework as a team sport,” Johnson said. “When you are mobile working – when you are not at your desk – you are relaying on your team to understand where you are, to know how to get in touch with you, for you to know how to get in contact with them. Its about culture and trust – not a bunch of rules.”
The new policy builds on the tenets of the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 that requires federal agencies to increase the use of flexible work arrangement to improve management effectiveness and create efficiencies.
GSA is already one of the government leaders when it comes to telework, with 78% of employees already engaged in telework of some sorts. That total was tops in the federal government, just ahead of OPM at 74%, according to the most recent federal viewpoints survey conducted by OPM.
The policy aims to find ways for employees to telework or work mobile on a regular basis, establishing telework as an expected way for employees to work.
Berry said he is an advocate of telework because workers in an effective telework programs can only be judged by their work.
“Those who can’t perform and can’t improve can no longer hide behind their desks,” Berry said. “It’s up to managers to give our employees clear direction, support and trust them to deliver, but ultimately hold them accountable to the results.”