Time is right for telework

GSA study finds telework investments would pay double dividends but management resistance has slowed adoption.

Investing in telework infrastructure would more than pay for itself, a General Services Administration report finds. Indeed, the cost savings would typically be double the investment costs, according to Federal Computer Week.

An agency with 50,000 employees that invests $15.6 million in a telework infrastructure would receive $31.1 million in cost benefits, according to the study. “It’s not costing as much as everyone thinks because costs are not visible at the upper management levels,” said Theresa Noll, senior telework program analyst at GSA.

The study assumed that half of an agency's employees would be able to telework. The study recommends melding existing telework initiatives with other IT programs to make a stronger case for funding.

And no surprise, agency managers' reluctance has been a key brake on adoption of telework. "They like to see their employees at work throughout the day, said Raymond Kent, an associate at Booz Allen."

The time has come, Noll said, to treat telework as a major part of IT funding. “I’d like to see telework as an item in the IT capital planning process,” she said.