New Bill Promotes Telework Policies
The benefits are clear. According to the International Telework Association and Council, telework increases employee productivity by 22%, while decreasing absenteeism by 60% and churn by 20%. From a government perspective, the first Federal Work-Life survey released by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) earlier this year found that federal employees who take advantage of telework opportunities report being “more satisfied with their jobs and ultimately perform better.” Despite the many benefits, there is still a ton of opportunity for the public sector to take advantage of telework programs.
In an effort to accelerate this trend, two Congressional members introduced a bill aimed at the promotion of telework strategies and policies. The Telework Metrics and Cost Savings Act, sponsored by representative Gerry Connolly, D, Va., looks to do just that. Connolly is quoted as saying, “We are making great progress with widespread adoption of telework in the federal government. We cannot go in reverse. Telework is a valuable tool for not only government efficiency, but also recruitment and retention of a talented federal workforce.” He goes on to say, “Instead of instituting mindless, sweeping bans on telework participation, agencies should be expanding teleworking options. Telework is supposed to be a tool for promoting government efficiency, performance, and emergency preparedness.”
The Unique Challenges of Federal Communications
Every organization, whether they are in the public or private sector, can benefit from enhanced collaborative communications solutions. However, the public sector has some unique challenges when it comes to implementing these solutions, including:
Security: This is not unique to the public sector as every organization faces this challenge. But what makes the government environment unique is the data that is stored and transmitted that, if stolen, has broader implications including potential citizen impact and national security concerns. When dealing with issues of national security, it is essential that communications have the highest level of encryption and security policies to ensure the information does not fall into the wrong hands.
Accessibility and Mobility: The public sector is embracing mobility to deliver greater service to the citizen. That said, agencies need to implement tools that enable their employees to access data and communicate/collaborate at any time from any location. The productivity gains realized by this type of access not only benefits the employees, but provides them a more effective mechanism to deliver for the citizen.
Continuity of Operations (COOP) Plans: Communications are essential in times of disaster, both man-made and natural. In order to restore services to citizens, agencies need to have reliable, geographically redundant communications solutions. Cloud-based Unified Communications (UC) fits that need, turning agency communications solution from a risk to an asset. In times of a crisis, agency employees may be unable to return to their physical workspace. Providing access to the communications infrastructure is essential to enable them to perform their essential duties from outside of the agency walls.
How does Cloud-Based Unified-Communications-as-a-Service Enable Telework?
As noted above, agencies that promote robust teleworking strategies can realize a 22% increase in employee productivity. This seems illogical at first glance, but when you think about it, this increase makes sense. With the right tools in place, agencies can take advantage of the benefits of teleworking. There are several essential tools that should be implemented when migrating to a Unified-Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) solution. They are:
- Single number reach (SNR)
- Enterprise inbox for all voicemails
- Soft clients for laptops or desktops
- Clients for tablets and smartphones
- Access to mobility settings from the Self-Care Portal
- Integration with presence
The First FedRAMP Authorized UCaaS Solution
Collab9 was the first cloud-based UCaaS solution to receive FedRAMP authorization and has continued the trend of providing innovative, secure solutions to both federal and state and local agencies. We are committed to providing a secure, modern and innovative solution to aid agencies in performing their mission to the highest level. Telework is a vital tool, enabling agencies to continue their mission whether they are inside an agency or on the road. With lawmakers pushing to increase the number of agencies supporting telework, have you thought about how you will meet those demands? Start today – contact our cloud specialists.