In case of emergency, pull on telework

A fire in the Commerce Department’s Hoover Building last Friday acted as a very real wake up call for some federal managers. The building was closed, but work had to go on. The answer: employees were encouraged to telework. Not just allowed to. They were encouraged.

Not that much more proof is needed for the value of a solid telework policy.

General Services Administration’s Martha Johnson learned its value in her first seconds on the job. The administrator told a recent town hall meeting at the Telework Exchange, “I was sworn in by phone from my kitchen during the blizzard last winter. So, Telework is still ‘who I am,’ and it is also for GSA about ‘who we are.'”

Online Chat: Beth Killoran, deputy assistant secretary for Information Technology and chief information officer at HHS, on March 28.

While Johnson said “GSA is about workplaces,” she acknowledged the 21st century workplace might not be a place at all.