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GSA’s Casey Coleman Reports Personal, Agency Telework Benefits

Telework and mobility tools help the General Services Administration continue business as usual while its headquarters is undergoing renovations, FCW reports.

GSA Chief Information Officer Casey Coleman told attendees of a Telework Exchange Town Hall meeting Monday she has experienced the benefits of teleworking first hand.

Coleman said she spent four months teleworking from Seattle while her husband was receiving medical treatment.

She was able to use Web chats, meetings and video software to interact with coworkers, many of whom said they did not realize she was even gone.

Nearly half of the 80 percent of GSA employees who are telework-eligible practice telework at least once during a two-week period, according to the report.

Coleman said the agency has distributed 10,000 Blackberry smartphones and tablets featuring encryption and additional security layers to its 13,000 person workforce.

As a result of telework, mobile technologies and schedules, GSA will be able to maintain a 4,000 workforce in a 2,000 seat office at its renovated headquarters, saving GSA in real estate cost, Coleman said.

Robert Brown, assistant chief of staff for the Marine Corps Recruiting Command, told hearing attendees his division distributed mobile devices to 4,000 of its recruiters last year.

The devices, developed with commercial partners, help recruiters build relationships with volunteers from any location where they can have a conversation, Brown explained.

Peter Tseronis, Energy Department chief technology officer, said he also benefited from telework practices as he was able to return home from a work conference early to tend to family needs.

Technology allowed Tseronis to participate in the conference from home, saving taxpayer dollars that would be spend on a hotel.

Tseronis said saving cost made his supervisor happy and added that supervisors’ belief in telework is a significant factor.

The Defense Department recently issued a civilian telework policy as a result of the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 to encourage its eligible teleworkers to practice that option.

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