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FCW : July 30, 2013
18 July 30, 2013 FCW.COM Work spaces work rather than move to open oor plans, said Danette Campbell, the agency s senior telework adviser. Since 2006, USPTO s workforce has grown from 7,800 employees to 11,700 without requiring any additional of ce space or parking spots. Now more than 7,500 employees do some level of telework, and nearly 4,000 full-time teleworkers have relinquished their desk space at the of ce. "When they do need to come in, they reserve space in a shared on- campus hoteling office," Campbell said. "Because our full-time telework program has become so successful and employees are so productive, when they come in they re not spending eight hours. It becomes a touchdown place for them." To date, the agency has given back $24 million worth of of ce space and reduced the number of hoteling of ces from 200 to 91, with two desks in each. "Like everything else at this agency, we monitor very closely the utilization, and that helps build our business case for giving back space," she said. As a result, USPTO maintained 70 percent productivity during Hurricane Sandy and more than 82 percent pro- ductivity during the snowstorm that hit the Washington metro area in late March. And employees are happy with the arrangement. Ninety-two percent of full-time teleworkers report higher overall job satisfaction and work/fam- ily balance, 77 percent of them report higher productivity, and 93 percent of all survey respondents said the pro- gram has had a positive impact on employee satisfaction. Hoteling is also a core component of TIGTA s real-estate strategy, which includes of ces, bullpens and cubicle space available by reservation. The agency reached a goal of 157 usable square feet per person thanks to a 2011 renovation and move that shrank the overall footprint from 60,597 square feet to 52,145 square feet. At TIGTA, 58 percent of employees telework two days or more a week, nearly double the Treasury Depart- ment s average of 30 percent and more than ve times the governmentwide level of 10.8 percent. "We have a multitude of tools to cope with the separation anxiety of not being in an of ce anymore," said George Jakabcin, TIGTA s CIO. "That was key to the successful transition." Employees at all 70 of ces have lap- tops equipped with cameras and Wi-Fi access, videoconferencing, instant Tips for work space transformation • Let data support and determine your decision. • Build the business case with key stakeholders. • Secure executive management endorsement and support. • Develop a clear communication plan. • Cultivate strategic partnerships. • Invest in exible, robust technology. • Always factor in the human element. • Know your culture. • Expect the program to evolve over time to meet changing needs. Source: Sabre Holdings Case Study messaging and virtual whiteboarding. "We re trying to not lose too much of the office environment in terms of being able to collaborate with people," Jakabcin said. But TIGTA of cials also considered the downside of all that openness. "We re conscious of ambient noise, so all the materials were selected to ensure we could keep it as private as possible when people are working," he said. "We also have huddle rooms that are scattered around the space where you can talk to your doctor, children, spouse if you don t want that conver- sation to even have the possibility of being overheard." The hoteling program saved $6 mil- lion over the course of TIGTA s of ce lease. Furthermore, job satisfaction climbed from 78 percent in 2011 to 79.8 percent in 2012, and self-reported work/life balance increased from 87.3 percent to 89.3 percent. To help provide the interpersonal connection that might be missing in a telework-heavy workforce, TIGTA lead- ers start virtual meetings with a few minutes of socialization. Managers also specify and track performance more rigorously than before and always look for opportunities to increase ef ciency, Jakabcin said. Indeed, workgroups that have moved to exible space and more vir- tual meetings nd that it s often easier to have an impromptu conference call than it was in the past to nd a time for everyone to meet in person. "You have to think about what does the technology provide for in the way of opportunities to change and improve the process," Jakabcin said. "We were able to eliminate some steps that might not otherwise have surfaced if [we had] kept doing it in a physical presence environment." ■ "Because our full-time telework program has become so successful and employees are so productive, when they come in they're not spending eight hours. It becomes a touchdown place for them." DANETTE CAMPBELL, USPTO
July 15, 2013
August 15, 2013