More federal workers could be phoning it in – in a good way, as the Senate approved new teleworking legislation Sept. 30.
The bill, which is similar to one passed by the House of Representatives in July, makes all federal workers eligible to telecommute and stipulates that teleworking be part of an agency’s contingency plans for dealing with emergency situations known as continuity of operation plans, according to Federal News Radio online.
The bill “will improve the lives of federal workers by expanding telework opportunities, and it will help agencies attract and retain top talent,” said Sen. Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii), who had also sponsored the legislation. “This bill will help keep critical government functions running in the event of snowstorms or other emergencies.”
The Senate bill garnered the support of the Federal Managers Association, Nextgov reported.
“Telework has the potential to revolutionize federal agency operations and is a vital resource in meeting the challenges of retaining experienced professionals and enticing talented employees,” said FMA President Patricia Niehaus.
The bill will also include more training for managers, The Washington Post reported, so that teleworking can be more broadly implemented.
The Post noted less than 10 percent of federal employees who were eligible to telecommute actually did so in 2008.