More and more workers in the U.S. federal government are telecommuting every year. This growth comes in part from federal mandates that require agencies to establish telework policies. But much of the growth of telework can be traced to its benefits. For the agency, telework lowers overhead costs, increases productivity, and improves the ability to attract a well-rounded workforce. For the worker, telework offers a better work-life balance, convenience, and reduced traffic congestion.
How Telework Fits into Government Continuity of Operations
But perhaps the most important benefit of telework is its function as the ideal management tool for continuity of operations (COOP) in the event of a disaster. With a telework system in place, managers and workers can maintain critical functionality from a network of highly distributed home offices and alternate facilities during emergencies. Key government personnel can then provide an additional layer of vital communications to ensure COOP.
A recent Webcast, hosted by The Telework Exchange and Hughes, “Maintaining a Secure Telework Network—IT and Management Best Practices,” focused on practical approaches for working in a remote environment. Agency and industry representatives discussed tips for implementing successful telework programs and discussed best practices for setting up a secure network for teleworkers and how to address challenges of a mobile workforce. For more information about the Webinar, visit http://www.teleworkexchange.com/maintainingasecurenetwork.
The Cost Factor
According to the Office of Personnel Management, teleworking during the major snowstorms of February 2010 allowed the federal government to save up to $30 million each day. In addition, according to The Telework Exchange, if all eligible federal government employees teleworked two days per week, they would collectively save over $781 million a year. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), a federal leader in promoting telework, reported that its 1,300 patent examiners who have relinquished their offices have saved the agency over $11 million in office space.
The Missing Piece: Managed Network Services
Federal agencies rely on sophisticated network technologies to connect theirfixed locations. These networks are private and secure, with dedicated communications circuits on a national, and sometimes global, scale, and managed by a team of government and industry personnel. However, extending these cohesive networks to the growing telework population has not been effectively implemented.
The Case for a Managed Telework Service
In addition, procurement of telework communications services varies by agency. The telework force is served by multiple vendors providing different services—DSL, cable, fiber, satellite broadband, or dial-up. In some cases, teleworkers select their own service providers. This disparate approach results in varying levels of service quality, performance, and security, with reimbursements to individual employees and/or payments to multiple vendors.
Fortunately, there is a better way: Hughes Telework Solutions. Comprehensive and fully managed, Hughes Telework Solutions ensures a uniform, high-quality network across the entire telework force, regardless of location. Hughes Telework Solutions, based on Hughes Optimized Network Services, employs the most cost-effective technology at each teleworker site—whether DSL, cable, or satellite—and as an integrated teleworker program with a single network, a single provider, and a single bill.
That’s why today, more and more government agencies are relying on Hughes Telework Solutions to support their telework initiatives with integrated satellite, terrestrial, and wireless broadband—helping to ensure COOP, control costs, and improve worker quality of life.