Telework is a hot topic this week at office water coolers – both physical and virtual – around the nation as business news has ignited passionate discussion about the merits of flexible work environments.  Timing is particularly appropriate as this is Telework Week, a global effort created by the Mobile Work Exchange and sponsored by Citrix to encourage organizations and indidivuals to telework for the week.

For public sector organizations, telework is the right choice at this time for several important reasons, including productivity gains – which are front and center as public sector organizations continue to face tight budgets and the Federal government comes to terms with the realities of sequestration.  Telework also plays an essential role in ensuring continuity of operations.  According to estimates, the four-day shutdown in February 2010 cost the Federal government between $70 million and $100 million per day in lost productivity.  Telework saved the government $30 million a day during the 2010 storm.

Flexible work environments are also a powerful perk in efforts to recruit and retain the talent required to run the public sector as workforce competition ramps up post recession.

The Mobile Work Exchange has done the math and quantified the benefits of just a single week of teleworking.  Seventy percent of organizations that participated in last year’s Telework Week noted increased productivity.  Further, 69 percent of individuals who participated said they would give preference to jobs that offer telework.

The more than 105,000 individuals – more than 90 percent of which are from the Federal government – who have pledged to telework this week will also see important benefits.  Over the course of the week, participants will:

  • Collectively save $8 million in commuting savings in one week.  For a year, that’s a collective savings of $402 million, or an average commuter savings of $3,750
  • Avoid driving more than 4.9 million miles during Telework Week – that’s more than 197 trips around the world
  • Save 3.5 hours by not commuting in one week – equivalent to 175 hours a year
  • Spare the environment 10.2 million pounds of pollutants
  • Avoid consuming more than 517,000 gallons of gas

Successful telework programs do not happen on their own.  They require structure and the technology to support spontaneous as well as planned collaboration.  In addition to clearly defined policies for eligibility, scheduling, resources, and management, a telework program, to be effective, must address two fundamental requirements:

  • Staff must be able to work in the same way they would in the office, with full access to desktops, apps, files, and collaboration
  • IT must be able to secure and control business information to maintain protection, privacy, and compliance

Enabling the virtualized environments, remote access, agile infrastructure, and mobility programs, such as bring your own device, needed to support telework initiatives requires a comprehensive IT approach.  Citrix telework solutions, which include XenDesktop, NetScaler, Podio, GoToMeeting, Citrix CloudGateway, and ShareFile, offer desktop virtualization, online collaboration and meetings, a unified enterprise app store, and file sharing, to make telework programs simple and secure for Federal agencies.  Our newest solution XenMobile extends our capabilities by offering the industry’s first enterprise mobile device management solution that gives users device choice while also enabling IT to meet its management and compliance requirements.

Citrix solutions, paired with our team’s expertise and experience, provide public sector organizations the tools they need to ensure successful telework initiatives that improve productivity and support continuity of operations priorities.

To lean more, download our newest resource:  Empowering Telework, Executive Mobility, and Disaster Recovery Programs – Best-Practice Solutions for Federal Government.

If you have any questions about telework or our technology solutions, please drop me a line.

Tom Simmons, Area Vice President of Public Sector for Citrix Systems is available at tom.simmons@citrix.com.