John O'Leary is a former GOVERNING contributor. He is co-author of "If We Can Put a Man on the Moon: Getting Big Things Done in Government."E-mail: email@example.com
In June, the Office of Personnel Management will kick off a work anytime, work anywhere pilot initiative. As noted in Government Executive:
Under the Results-Only Work Environment program, nearly 400 OPM employees from a range of job functions will be permitted to work wherever and whenever they choose as long as their work gets done. Supervisors will be expected to "manage for results" and trust employees to complete their tasks.
"This is a shift in culture from permission granting -- granting leave, permission to telework, etc. -- to performance guiding," said Jonathan Foley, senior adviser to the director, during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee hearing.
Officials announced the program on March 31 and it has been in the assessment and education phases since.
There's a nifty telework blog for federal employees and managers. In addition, each year OPM reports to Congress on the status of telework in the federal government. Well over 100,000 federal workers now telework, and that number is sure to rise with the OPM pilot.
State and local officials are taking note. As the feds break the ice, other governments can learn from their findings. Training and managing, measuring and monitoring performance, the nature of work that can and can't be performed remotely -- there will be a learning curve on all these aspects of the trend.
No doubt, however, the OPM initiative is a big invitation to get to work -- in your bathrobe, if you want to.