Flexible Workplaces

Administrator Johnson joins forum on flexible workspaces

More and more employers and employees are realizing that work is what we do, not where we do it.  At GSA, we are a firm believer in this concept.  So last week in San Francisco, I participated in a roundtable discussion on flexible work convened by the Society for Human Resource Management.  Joining me were 17 representatives from diverse Bay Area companies who are using innovative practices and leveraging advances in technology to empower their workers to work from virtually anywhere.

It was a terrific conversation. We shared what works and why — what doesn’t, and why not.  We all agree that we must move past the industrial model of watching workers do their work, but more must be done if we are going to change mind sets about established work spaces and work habits.

We live in a mobile environment; work can be done from home, on the road, or in shared workspaces.  Telework initiatives improve productivity, cut down on turnover rates, and decrease employee absences.  Additionally, telework reduces our costs and our impact on our environment by shrinking office space needs and reducing commute times.

Currently, about 50 percent of GSA’s workforce teleworks at least one day a week, and GSA is sharing its growing expertise in telework to bring greater efficiency to the federal workplace and save taxpayer dollars.  Establishing telework capabilities in the federal workforce also makes the government more secure and resilient: Even if federal buildings are closed, federal workers can continue to serve their constituents without missing a beat.

Through our conversation last week, I learned that GSA is facing some of the same challenges as our private sector partners, and heard several innovative and inspiring solutions.  I look forward to continuing to expand GSA’s expertise on flexible workplace solutions across the federal government and to improve how we serve the American people.

To find out more about GSA’s telework program, please visit www.gsa.gov/telework