Going to Work Without Going to Work by linxiaoqin


									                        Going to Work Without Going to Work

                                              Do you do your best work in your pajamas? Do
                                              you hate losing two hours each day in the car? Do
                                              you work independently? Would you get more
                                              done without office interruptions? Is the cost of
                                              gasoline taking a big bite out of your paycheck?
                                              Maybe telework would be a good choice for you.

                                              Telework is a work arrangement that allows an
                                              employee to perform work during any part of
                                              regular, paid hours, at an approved alternate
                                              worksite (e.g., home, telework center).
                                              Teleworking does not include work done on
                                              official travel or mobile work that requires time at
Electronic or highway commute? Source:        other locations.
Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory
                                               In 2000, Public Law 106-346 required each federal
executive agency to establish policies that allowed eligible employees of the agency to
“participate in telecommuting to the maximum extent possible without diminished employee
performance.” More information on federal programs can be found on http://www.telework.gov.

While ORNL already has a number of full-time employees who work from other locations, the
Human Resources Directorate conducted a telecommuting pilot from July through December of
2010. This initiative had multiple goals: (1) manage expected laboratory growth; (2) reduce the
strain on facilities, such as office space and parking; (3) reduce ORNL carbon footprint, and
(4) support the need for flexible work arrangements to meet business needs.

Candidates for the pilot had to live within about 50 miles of ORNL, be full-time exempt or
nonexempt employees with at least one year of company service, have a satisfactory
performance rating, have no line management responsibilities, and work on the main campus.
Employees worked their standard work schedule, approved by their supervisor. General
personnel policies remained the same. The employees were required to have a designated
workspace, free from distractions and other responsibilities, such as eldercare or childcare.
About 10 employees participated in the pilot.

Successful telework requires an organized, self-motivated employee, and a job with independent
work that can be done offsite and tasks that are clearly defined with measurable outputs.
Supportive managers, who communicate frequently with employees and ensure they are not left
out of laboratory activities, are critical. Supervisors must be able to manage performance without
seeing the worker as frequently.
In ORNL‟s pilot program, both the participants and their managers signed a telecommuting
agreement. Specialized training was provided for both groups, and participants were provided a
laptop computer, security token, necessary software and materials to complete the work.
Participants and managers agreed in advance on the frequency of communications and onsite
meetings. Teleworkers are subject to being called into the office on an as-needed basis.

ORNL‟s pilot program was considered a success, and telework policies are currently being
developed to add to the Standards Based Management System (SBMS).

Myra Perry and Marcia Bain, both in the Global Nuclear Security Technology Division,
participated in the pilot program. Because Perry‟s and Bain‟s jobs involve making logistical
arrangements for foreign travel for project members, they do a lot of their work on external
servers, such as the Foreign Travel Management System (FTMS). They arranged to alternate
weeks between working in the office and working at home. During their weeks at home, they
attended meeting through teleconferencing or by going to ORNL that day. Both were so pleased
with the pilot that they asked to continue telecommuting at the end of the trial.

Myra Perry noted that the advantages of telework outweighed any disadvantages. She saved
money on gas, clothing, and lunches, as well as saving time and reducing stress. During the
cyber security event this year, she was able to keep working from home, where she had internet
access. She experienced some early frustrations with the transition to Citrix this year. Another
adjustment has been learning to minimize paper
copies. “I almost exclusively use my electronic files
now even when I am in the Lab office. The
hardcopies I print and keep in my Lab office are for
auditor requirements or use by others if I should be
unavailable,” reports Perry. “The situation we have
now is the „best of both worlds‟ in that we are still
very much here several days a month.”

Marcia Bain knew she would like working from
home, as she had worked from home from 1983 to
2004, before coming to ORNL. She feels the
change is “like getting a raise.” Her costs for car
maintenance and lunches are down, and she gets an
extra hour of sleep on telework days. She loses less
time getting to doctor‟s appointments from home.
She also kept functioning from home during the
time ORNL was isolated from the internet, as the
demand for logistical support did not stop. Bain‟s
work area is a small room off of her bedroom,          Marcia Bain works in her ORNL office (top)
dedicated to her telework. In addition to adjusting    and in her home office area.
to work electronically, she found herself using instant messaging more frequently to
communicate with other project members. Sometimes she misses seeing her co-workers as often
as before, but she is never out of communication.

Both women admit they had a great situation for telework. Both work independently and well
without daily supervision. They use their ORNL e-mail accounts and transfer their office phones
to a home phone. Tasks are defined by the needs of the project team, and it is very obvious if
their work is not getting done. Their manager has been very supportive of the initial
arrangements and schedule adjustments that need to be made from time to time. Both could
foresee increasing their teleworking time in the future, if that option becomes available.

                                                                                   August 2011

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