GAO Telework Report:
Calendar Year 2011
GAO-12-777SP, Jun 28, 2012
What GAO Found
During calendar year 2011, nearly all GAO employees were eligible to telework and about 84 percent of GAOs employees teleworked to some extent. Specifically, about 40 percent of GAOs employees teleworked one or more days per pay period, and nearly 44 percent teleworked to some extent each month. The remaining employees did not telework. Telework was not conducive for those responsible for providing on-site support and services such as sorting and delivering mail, and greeting visitors. Others did not telework for a variety of reasons, including personal preference, and in accordance with the Act and GAOs policy, certain factors prohibited some employees from teleworking, such as performance or conduct issue. Further, an employees ability to telework depends on the nature of the position and the needs of GAOs congressional clients.
In accordance with the Act, GAO has established telework participation goals for calendar year 2012 and expects the telework program to continue supporting other agency goals. GAOs overall participation goal is that 90 percent of its employees will telework, even if only for a few hours, during calendar year 2012. This will help GAO employees be prepared to telework in case of an emergency. Also GAO expects its telework program to continue to help employees address their worklife needs, and, based on employees comments, to improve employee morale. Finally, through a pilot program that expands the use of telework in two field offices, GAO has estimated significant future cost savings through infrastructure reductions.
GAO has incorporated best practices and recommendations that it prescribes to other agencies in its telework program. For example, GAO designated a telework program manager, developed a policy, provided technical support for teleworkers, used the same performance standards to evaluate both teleworkers and non-teleworkers and established processes, procedures, and a tracking system to collect data to evaluate the telework program.
Why GAO Did This Study
Telework has been cited as an mportant management strategy with benefits for both the organization and employees. These benefits include supporting continuity of operations during emergencies, contributing to a greener environment, increasing employees ability to balance work and life demands, decreasing facility operating costs, and improving employee retention and recruitment.
For more than a decade, Congress has indicated its desire that agencies createtelework programs. Recently, Congress passed the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 (the Act). The Act established several program requirements, including that federal agencies submit annualreports to OPM on their programs and that GAO issue an annual report to Congress on its program.
This report describes GAOs telework program and provides information on (1) the number and percentage of eligible GAO employees as well as the number and percentage of GAO employees who teleworked by frequency categories, (2) the participation goals for calendar year 2012 and the ways telework has supported other agency goals, and (3) the best practices employed in GAOs telework program.
For more information, contact Carolyn M. Taylor at (202) 512-2974 or firstname.lastname@example.org.