Teleworking needs a new mindset to spread

The number of office workers who operate remotely continues to increase. However, unless Federal government agencies review their IT support methodology to address availability and compliance issues, they risk missing out on the anticipated productivity and cost advantages.

This according to a September 4, 2006 article in Federal Times by Ray Weadock, president and chief executive officer of Persystent Technologies.

In the article, titled "Right IT Support Helps Teleworkers Stay Productive," Mr. Weadock cites a General Services Administration report identifying remote user support as both a practical and financial hurdle that has hurt widespread adoption of telework initiatives.

Additionally, recent high-profile data compromises involving laptops highlight the need for clearer policy and the process to adhere to that policy regarding data storage.

Persystent believes that the federal government's support methodology must evolve in three areas -- policy, process and performance -- in order to maintain a compliant and efficient remote working environment.

"Policy, not technology, serves as the foundation," wrote Mr. Weadock. Every employee, whether they telework or not, must accept personal responsibility for adhering to policies regarding software usage, data storage and other compliance issues.

And agencies must develop clear and universal policies for such activities and then enforce those policies without additional burden to the worker or the IT staff.

Telework and other remote-worker initiatives are here to stay. Government agencies, and any other company or organization supporting remote workers, must change they way they view support, compliance and performance if they plan to reap the productivity and cost savings such a work environment can foster.