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‘Work is What You Do’: Martha Johnson on Teleworking

Martha Johnson, GSA; Photo: gsa.gov, Andrejs Pidjass

In an editorial for The Federal Times taken from remarks Martha Johnson made in an Oct. 7 speech at the Telework Exchange, the General Services Administration administrator advises her audience – and her readers – to begin to think about work differently.

“Work is what you do, not where you are,” she writes.

Johnson is ahead of the curve when it comes to teleworking.

She came to the federal government from Computer Sciences Corporation, where it was so much a part of the culture, she didn’t even know there was a name for it. At CSC, it was just called working, she says.

And when she took over as GSA administrator, she telecommuted her first day on the job.

“My first GSA experience was teleworking: I was sworn in by phone from my kitchen during the blizzard last winter,” she says. “So, telework is still ‘who I am,’ and it is also for GSA about ‘who we are.’”

The benefits that accrue from teleworking are numerous and substantial, she says.

GSA data shows there is the possibility for 200 percent to 1,500 percent return on initial technological investment if a company or agency adopts teleworking. Companies realize savings through increases in productivity, reduced employee absences and even reduced real estate costs.

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