On Thursday, Laura Ingraham expressed her skepticism toward the U.S. government’s use of remote work for its employees. Speaking on Fox News, Ingraham said “you don’t have to commute into Manhattan to find out what people say if you’re in New York City.” Ingraham was referring to the New York Times’ Thursday report, which claimed that a number of federal agencies are testing ways to reduce commuting times and minimize commute times, particularly for low-income workers. While the report mentioned that many of the agencies making such improvements are under pressure from President Trump to cut costs, it did not report any figures, and also did not explore the role of government departments in such cuts.
In addition to searching out Twitter, one of the best sources for insight into workers’ working lives, the report also cited data showing that a number of government-contracting companies are making the transition to the company culture of telecommuting, which is increasingly used by companies to reduce commuting times and maximize productivity. Many companies will allow employees who commute to use a perk of a traveling spouse or a teleworking spouse if the house is not central to a corporate office.
Even though the government has a long and storied tradition of traditions of telework, as a broadcast of the Times story demonstrated, there are no set rules defining what constitutes telework. And, according to a 2009 Government Accountability Office report, some agencies have indicated that they are reconsidering the decision to telework after potentially discovering that they are improving employee performance.
However, at least one research report suggests that telework does not offer a boost to employee productivity: This study from George Mason University found that teleworkers may be more productive than their peers who work inside the office.
Read the full story at The New York Times.
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