Telework status report from the exburbs

There’s some rather startling news about the state of federal telework coming out of Southern Maryland this past week. Despite efforts and wishes of OPM to the contrary, “telecommuting is down in the region,” reports Southern Maryland Newspapers.

Even though a study shows the federal government is gradually expanding the practice nationwide, patronage of the Southern Maryland Telework Centers is declining.

The three centers, in Waldorf, Prince Frederick and Laurel run by the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) currently host 78 workers, compared to 90 a year ago. CSM attributes the decline to a boost in the cost of renting a workstation, “which was $28 a day in 2008 but had reached $72 by Sept. 1, 2009.”

The cost is worth it for one relative new comer to telework. Kimberly Savoy-Brown, a program management analyst for the U.S. Department of Education, is a client at the Waldorf center. “She got her first taste of relative freedom in April, when federal employees were urged to take leave or work from home to make room for attendees of a nuclear summit in Washington,” reports the paper. She says she teleworks one day a week, but now “wishes it were more.”


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