The 2009 Telework Improvements Act, a bill that plans to increase telework in federal agencies, was unanimously passed Wednesday by a House subcommittee.
The bill would permit government employees to work via telephone from home at least two days every two weeks as long as there is no interference with work performance.
In hopes that this plan will go along with federal agencies’ Continuity of Operations Plan and help cope with natural or man-made emergencies, The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted the bill be set into motion for consideration by Congress, enhancing its likeliness that it will be sent to the president within the year.
Union workers and telework supporters believe this bill will improve productivity, air quality, and traffic congestion. Arguing for the bill to be passed, Congressman Gerry Connolly said:”We need to transition from anecdotal reports to analytical data about the benefits of telework. As we move forward with a robust telework program, a study will provide us with hard data to make sure that telework is doing what we set out to achieve.”
The Office of Personnel Management hopes to increase the 6.5 percent of nationwide employees that participate in telecommunication by at least 50 percent in the 2011 fiscal year. While some employers remain wary of unseen effects of telework, the bill’s movement within legislation proves to be a successful victory for supporters.