Thursday, July 15, 2010

Telecommuting comes to Washington!

Telecommuting comes to Washington!

In today’s New York Times (July 15, p. A20 in the National Section), it was reported that “federal agencies would be required to establish policies to encourage more employees to work from home, under a bill passed by the House on Wednesday.”

The Senate bill had approved a similar bill in May. Both bills would give guidance to managers and employees on telecommuting or “telework.” Government agencies would put someone in charge of these policies and would allow employees to work offsite, at home or at telework centers. Employees precluded from this new way of work were those who had downloaded pornographic materials or why had a high rate of absenteeism or tardiness.

This is good news for the videoconferencing world as videoconferencing would be an important tool in managing remote and virtual teams. Videoconferencing fosters communications and collaboration, enhancing teamwork, problem solving and decision making.

Of course, passing a bill does not make it happen. A major culture change also needs to accompany this bill with a different management culture that focuses on objectives and results instead of face time. Employees need to feel that they will not be “out of touch” if out of the office Managers need to feel that they have not lost control and can count on their employees to achieve their goals.

So Federal videoconferencing teams- sharpen your sales plans and road tours to show the great products and services you can provide to help managers and employees embark on a new era of work.