Federal News Radio reported that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is moving away from manual collection of data that’s used for annual reporting on teleworking done by federal government employees.

The collection of time and attendance statistics will be automated to improve data quality. A test pilot before the OPM’s next telework report to Congress will be held, with a governmentwide implementation projected for summer 2014, reported Federal News Radio.

The OPM said teleworking in the federal government might be overestimated because some agencies report the number of teleworking agreements, not actual teleworking. The office’s annual report to Congress said one-fourth of the eligible federal workforce has worked outside the office at least one day per week.

According to the OPM, “roughly 10 percent of eligible employees engaged in routine telework during calendar year 2009 while approximately 21 percent of telework eligible employees participated in routine telework in September of 2011.”

The automation of data collection is part of a larger OPM effort. The federal government is urging managers not to resist allowing employees to work remotely, and encouraging judging performance based on results rather than on attendance. The change in how data is collected could change the management style of the affected agencies, said Justin Johnson, the OPM’s deputy chief of staff, reported Federal News Radio. Managers may use new information to make decisions that lead down different paths.

Browse the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s report to Congress, 2012 Status of Telework in the Federal Government.

OPM 2012 Telework Report