03/13/2014 01:32 pm ET Updated May 13, 2014

Making telework more widespread in government

Telework is slowly gaining a foothold in the federal government, but changing the attitudes of managers and supervisors who want to see their employees face-to-face remains a constant struggle.

A report by Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released in December found that a total of 301,372 federal employees teleworked at least once during fiscal 2012, the most recent data available. This represents about 14 percent of all federal employees and about one-third of those who have been designated as eligible to work remotely.

The benefits of teleworking have been well chronicled. For employees, it means avoiding long commutes, saving time, improving work-life balance, having greater job satisfaction and gaining a sense of empowerment. For the government, it can save money on overhead, provide better citizen services by extending hours, ensure continuity of operations during regional and national emergencies and snow storms, and lead to improved worker performance and greater productivity.