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Working from home may soon be federal mandate

Hank Silverberg |

April 05, 2010

WASHINGTON – The federal government may soon mandate that you avoid your usual morning traffic headaches.

Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., has sponsored a bill that would require all federal agencies to allow 20 percent of their employees to telework at least one day a week.

“It will improve air quality, it will improve congestion, and make for a much better quality of life in the metropolitan region,” Connolly says.

He says the biggest hurdle teleworking has to overcome is a cultural change on the part of many bosses.

“There are a lot of managers still who believe that if they can’t see you at the desk, you must not be working, you are goofing off,” he says. “That is simply not true.”

Connolly points to this past winter’s blizzards as an example of how teleworking can be convenient for federal agencies.

“We were able to save about $30 million a day (in productivity) that otherwise would have been lost,” he says. “But that’s still not good enough.”

The bill passed a federal subcommittee by unanimous vote on March 24.

WTOP’s Hank Silverberg contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2010 by WTOP. All rights reserved.)

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