With the passing of the Telework Enhancement Act on Thursday, it looks like DC Metro Area traffic will soon become less congested while more workers will be able to focus on work instead of the workplace. The Act passed in the House 254 to 152 and is currently on its way to President Obama where it will surely receive his signature.
This is good news on many levels and confirms what we have known for years—telework works and has huge and positive implications not only for federal agency employees and DC government contractors but also for the entire DC Metro Area.
Telework will alleviate traffic congestion, which has been a growing problem recently, and it also contributes to the important Green moment--to conserve gas, energy and decrease greenhouse emissions.
What’s more, the Telework Enhancement Act paves the way for DC to become a model to other parts of the country for streamlined and efficient business operations. Instead of dealing with a variety of workplace and commute issues, workers can focus on their jobs. Having more freedom and flexibility means they will be able to achieve a better work-life balance and agencies will have happier, healthier employees who are better able to accomplish work tasks.
What Will Change in the World of Telework?
The Telework Enhancement act requires federal agencies to create policies enabling employees to telework unless their positions are unable to do so (because the nature of their jobs requires on-site work). The measure also requires federal agencies to incorporate telework as part of a business continuity or contingency plan in times where circumstances or weather or another event prevent traditional office work from continuing.
Estimates from the General Services Administration project that if federal workers telecommute just one day each week, these agencies could increase productivity by more than $2.3 billion each year. Add this figure to the money that could be saved on office space, supplies and energy usage, and business profitability is very promising.