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FCW : November 15, 2012
Speakers: Sharon Wall, Regional Commissioner for Federal Acquisition Service-New England at the General Services Administration Bill Lewis, Program Manager for Workplace Modernization in the Integrated Technology Service at FAS, GSA Federal agencies looking to improve the mobility of their workforce should start by putting together the right technology solutions, but they cannot afford to stop there. To get the most out of mobility -- to improve employee productivity and create a more cost-effective workplace -- agen- cies need to approach mobility as a change management challenge. The new technology involves new skills and new work processes. It requires buy- in from employees, managers and agency leadership. And it might take a few course corrections to get it right. That s why officials at the General Services Administration took a multi- tiered approach to rolling out its tele- work and mobile program, said Sharon Wall, regional commissioner for Federal Acquisition Service in New England, and the head of GSA s telework program man- agement office. It wasn t just a matter of upgrading the infrastructure and getting technology into the hands of employees. They needed to make sure that everyone involved knew how to work in an environment in which their co-work- ers or managers might be working offsite. That s because "when one person on your team is teleworking, your whole team is teleworking," Wall said. From the outset, they focused on train- ing, identifying the skills that people need- ed to be optimal remote workers and, in the case of managers, to run virtual teams. Training took several forms. Through an agency intranet, employees could access self-help videos that addressed common questions, such as "How do I reset my password?" or "How do I connect to the VPN?" The site also includes an array of best practices and tools, such as ten tips for making telework a "team sport." But given the age range of the GSA workforce, agency officials knew that a self-help site wouldn t work for everyone, so they also organized live workshops for people who needed more hands-on training to get comfortable with the technology. "You really need to understand the gaps in terms of the skills of your orga- nization, and you need to focus on the training," Wall said. "We spent a lot of time closing that skills gap of managers and employees alike." Communications also was key. GSA was not just trying to increase the opportunities for telework -- the agency wanted to change how the workforce did business. The tele- work and mobility initiative were done in conjunction with a makeover of agency headquarters. During that renovation, many of the old-school enclosed offices were replaced with small, high-density individual spaces with unassigned desks. In the new world, employees truly are intended to be mobile, having access to whatever resources they need wherever they are, whether they are in the office or at home. Wall s team created a number of videos to explain the changes that were under- DIGITAL DIALOGUE "You really need to understand the gaps in terms of the skills of your organization, and you need to focus on the training. We spent a lot of time closing that skills gap of managers and employees alike." --- Sharon Wall, GSA The Making of a Mobile Organization: From Technology to Transformation SPONSORED CONTENT Agencies need to recognize that mobility is not just a matter of new IT but a new way of doing business Telework Week 2012: Good vibrations A survey conducted after Telework Week 2012 found that GSA employees definitely were warming up to the idea of telework. Here are some highlights: 93% were personally as productive or more productive during Telework Week 93% also said their teams were as productive or more productive 97% said their experiences were good or very good 97% felt prepared for Telework Week 98% knew now to connect with their co-workers while working remotely 96% are comfortable with the thought of teleworking in the future Source: GSA
October 30, 2012
November 30, 2012