Agreement on Telework Signed by GSA, AFGE

Policy allows regular telework without diminished employee or business performance.

by / June 10, 2008

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) signed off on a national telework policy that supports the broadest possible use of telework by eligible agency employees. The updated GSA policy allows regular telework frequency to the maximum extent possible without diminished employee or business performance and can range in frequency from one day per week to full time telework.

Telework reduces energy use, cuts down on greenhouse gases, eases traffic, reduces America's dependence on foreign oil, increases worker productivity, saves taxpayer dollars, makes us better prepared for national emergencies, and helps persuade talented individuals to build long careers in public service.

"I'm very pleased we've signed this agreement," said GSA Acting Administrator David Bibb.

Chief Human Capital Officer Gail Lovelace added, "We are sensitive to the increased costs our employees are experiencing at the fuel pump, and we are a green agency, so we want to do everything we can to lower the employees' expenses while reducing global warming by cutting CO2 emissions from cars and trucks."

When GSA launched the telework program initiative on September 12, 2007, a goal was set to have 50 percent of the agency's eligible workforce teleworking at least one or more days a week by the end of 2010. For 2008, the agency goal is to have 20 percent of the agency's eligible workforce teleworking at least one or more days a week. GSA hit that target eight months early.

"With AFGE joining forces with the agency on this telework effort, we should reach 30 percent by the end of this calendar year, and be well positioned to achieve the next scheduled benchmark of 40 percent by the end of calendar year 2009," Lovelace said.

The policy allows employees to combine telework and alternative work schedules with management approval. In cases where work-at-home is not the best fit for the employee's job or personal circumstances, telework centers, where applicable, are an option. The agency provides an online training program to assist employees and supervisors in making the program a success.