"Identify and recommend changes to help close gaps in policy and standards. For instance, as new technologies are introduced into the federal environment, policies governing identity and credential management may need to be revised to allow the introduction of new solutions that work better in a mobile world Equally, as new technologies emerge, telework rules may need to be revisited to allow employees to work from any location, as long as the device and connectivity are appropriately secure." [my emphasis]
Because telework is focused on managing PEOPLE, not the WORK, the policies about where you can work, when, who you need to check-in with when you’re “teleworking” and so on, are abundant. See this 39-page “overview” of government teleworking policies if you don’t believe me.
The sad thing about this memo, to me, is that bureaucracy and an old mindset about how work gets done is getting in the way of progress and efficiency in the federal government. The President recognizes the changing technologies and implications of a mobile workforce. The reality, however, is that if we’re still talking about “telework” then we’re still missing the point.
Let me give you a specific example of how conversations and questions surrounding telework policy keep us from moving forward. Have you heard of the Hatch Act? It’s a federal law which prohibits employees in the federal branch of government from engaging in partisan political activity. Sounds good, certainly. Except that now we have teleworkers! How can we know if these teleworkers are using their government issued phone or laptop to “like” a candidate on Facebook? How can we know they aren’t making phone calls on their work phone to campaign for a candidate? \\\
It’s these kinds of trivialities that government, and even large corporations, spend YEARS talking about; and all the while, they're impeding productivity and everything else that is good for the organization. In our connected, mobile world, the answer is simple: We need to move Beyond Telework. Time, place, device, or method of work is irrelevant when you focus on the Results. Period. Your employees deliver their work; whenever, wherever, as long as the work gets done.
I can take a good nap in the middle of the afternoon without worrying about TIME! :-D