Stevens, Landrieu push for widespread telework

If passed bill would fundamentally change the telecommuting proposition by making all fed employees - even judiciary workers - eligible for telework. Today, only 19 percent of workers telecommute a day a week.
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor
Sens. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.) want to make all federal employees eligible for telework. They've introduced a bill that covers workers in the executive, legislative and judicial branches, The Washington Post reports.

Benefits of telework, which seem obvious: Reduce fuel consumption, ease traffic congestion, and improve quality of life, including family life.

"We must continue to promote measures that will secure our nation's energy independence," Stevens said. "This bill represents just one small piece of that puzzle."

While 41 percent of civil service employees are eligible, only 19 percent were telecommuting even one day a week. Why not? Managers hate it. In a recent survey of federal managers sponsored by the Telework Exchange, nearly half of the 214 respondents said their agencies did not support telecommuting.

The Senate bill would require agencies to create a "telework managing officer" to be a liaison between employees and managers and would require training for new employees and managers. The bill would exempt employees assigned to national security and intelligence functions and certain others, such as those whose duties require a "daily physical presence" in the office.
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