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OPM Head: Telework Will Change ‘Butts in Seats’ Management Style

Photo: Musk
Photo: Musk

Speaking before a Telework Exchange Town Hall last week, head of the Office of Personnel Management John Berry again voiced his support for teleworking for federal employees, Nextgov reports.

Employers should take broad steps to open up the teleworking option for most federal employees.

Managers “should begin with the presumption that all employees are eligible to telework and negotiate agreements to carefully define results workers must achieve,” Nextgov characterized Berry’s remarks.

And further, for teleworking to be successful, management culture itself must change, Berry said, remarking that federal agencies need to move beyond a traditional “butts in seats” style.

Berry’s speech follows a compromise bill passed by the Senate last month, which sets telework guidelines for federal employees. The Washington Post predicts the House could pass a similar version in the lame-duck session of Congress after the midterm elections.

Teleworking began to draw more interest in the wake of a series of severe winter storms last year. In fact, Martha Johnson, head of the General Services Administration, who also spoke at the conference last week, had to be sworn in over the phone last winter because she couldn’t leave her house, The Post reported.

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One comment

  1. Remote work is a different model of collaboration, with it’s own rhythms and dynamics. It’s good to see recognition of this fact. Over at the Wide Teams blog, we explore the practices and philosophies that make telework a successful venture.

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