In regards to remote working, the general consensus seems to be, "you can't put the genie back in the bottle."
A good portion of the government workforce has been working from home for the past year, and the world has continued turning. In fact, some agencies report productivity is up since teleworking became the norm. While people will return to the office, it will look different with many alternating office days with days they work from home. The past year has shown us that working arrangements do not necessarily need to be confined to an office. And, when we also remove the stress of students learning from home, caring for homebound elderly parents, and a pandemic in general, employees may realize a new level of balance and job satisfaction.
To support the continued success of remote work, agencies need to shore up the IT that was put in place to simply keep the trains running on time. Some technology was implemented quickly to meet the immediate need, and now is the time to take a hard look at all of those solutions to see if they will scale to meet the long-term reality of a dispersed workforce.
I joined 400 of my favorite colleagues last week to hear DISA's annual Forecast to Industry. I have attended this forum at Tampa, Disneyworld, Grand ole' Opry (almost, it flooded out), Disneyland and other exotic locations. This year we congregated in the conference room at the DISA Headquarters on Fort Meade. Have times changed!! Despite the fact that the event was streamed live over the Internet to anyone who signed up, we were separated from our electronic devices and spent the day in blissful isolation, reviewing the small list of upcoming opportunities for industry. We have posted a copy of their slides here: Forecast-Brief-9Aug
According to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) last week, efforts to reduce travel and increase oversight in travel and conference spending have saved the federal government roughly $2 billion from fiscal 2010 to fiscal 2012.
Earlier this year, a Market Connections poll showed 38% of government employees plan to attend fewer educational and trade events in FY2013 than last fiscal year. The majority of poll respondents said budgetary and agency travel restrictions are the cause, and just over one-third of respondents reported that management would not allow them to attend events in 2013.
As budget cuts take their toll on in-person conferences within the Defense Department, more meetings are shifting online, specifically to DoD's in-house Web conferencing service, Defense Connect Online.
The system has seen so much traffic recently that usage is starting to outstrip the system's capacity. And DCO may be about to see even more users. The Defense Information Systems Agency and the contractor that runs DCO have just released an app that lets defense employees host or log into meetings from their iPhones and iPads.
My wife may disagree with this, but I take no great joy in saying "I told you so."
It's no secret that events targeting government employees have fallen on tough times. We've used this space repeatedly to encourage immixGroup clients and channel partners to re-evaluate their event marketing plans. Unfortunately, we're seeing more and more examples to prove this re-evaluation is necessary.