The Telework Genie is Free. Now What?

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.

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Exploring New Frontiers

NASA has taken the lead in exploring yet another new frontier - the world of virtual conferences. This FCW article highlights how the agency has cut costs with virtual world shows. Some highlights:

  • NASA hosted their first Virtual Executive Summit in October 2012 as a series of prerecorded and live sessions, activities and interactions hosted through NASA's human resources portal and Adobe Connect. Nearly 500 NASA leaders participated in the virtual events.
  • According to officials, the agency saved $750,000 in travel expenses and another $250,000 in logistics and venue costs -- for a total of more than $1 million in savings.
  • Virtual technology also allows agencies to host more events. NASA was able to do six times as many events in 2013 as it did in 2011.

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CDC’S Virtual Events Program Created By the Public Sector, For the Public Sector

Originally posted on by Brittany Ballenstedt,

Declines in budgets across the public health community were just one reason the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began looking at innovative approaches for employees and partners to collaborate online.

With the agency's health informatics partners stretching to state and local public health departments, academics, educational institutions, standards organizations, as well as other countries, CDC in 2009 began examining how it could develop a more cost-effective and efficient way for these key stakeholders to meet, collaborate and advance new ideas.

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Government’s Going Virtual: The Transition From In-person to Online Events and Training

Originally published by Steve Ressler on The Huffington Post

Everything is happening virtually these days. Courses, career fairs, conferences and even concerts are increasingly conducted online, educating and entertaining global audiences. While television has to some degree played this role for the past several decades, what makes this trend noteworthy is that it's happening on the web.

For the public sector, in particular, virtual events are gaining traction due to a "perfect storm" of overlapping factors -- namely, extensive travel restrictions, greater public scrutiny on in-person conferences and advancement of interactive communications technology.

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Government Conferences Attacked: Is the Solution Virtual?

Originally posted by Emily Jarvis on GovLoop

As you know, government conferences are under fire. Two officials have now resigned from the VA owing to excessive expenditures, rules are being tightened, and budgets are shrinking.
So what is the future of government conferencing? Are they still necessary for the good of government? Yes says Theo Mayer. But in a different form. Mayer is the cofounder and CTO of Hybrid.