The Perks of Working from Home
How Telework & the Digital Workspace Support Continuity of Operations in Government
Employees at the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) are no longer disconnected from the office on a snow day. When this year’s whopper of a winter storm, Jonas, closed government offices across Washington D.C., nearly 95% of the agency’s 3,800 employees successfully worked remotely for two days.
Thanks to digital innovations that enable anywhere, anytime connectivity, GSA employees can now keep the government running from anywhere. Hours once lost because of a government shutdown are now transformed into productive workdays, as employees respond to email, host teleconferences, run reports and generally maintain daily operations from home.
Besides the obvious productivity drain of a government shutdown, taxpayer money is lost following a government office closure of any kind. In 2010, the Office of Personnel Management estimated that a five-day closure of the federal government amounted to $71 million in lost productivity for each day of the shutdown. Mission-critical departments within local, state and federal government agencies cannot, under any circumstance, close or cease operations. Regardless of a blizzard, storm or cyber attack, citizens depend on government for medical treatment, protection, aid and national security.
Modern Workstyles & Operational Continuity for Government
The benefits of teleworking span industries and job types. Telework boosts employee morale and retention, reduces carbon emissions and the costs of additional office space. Employees achieve new levels of workforce productivity and efficiency. For government, teleworking is also a critical component of agencies’ Continuity of Operations (COOP) planning.
No longer limited to disaster recovery strategies, today’s COOP plans incorporate modern, mobile work styles into the overall design and architecture. These new strategies formed both out of necessity and citizen expectations for a more agile and responsive government.
With these expectations at the forefront, the digital workspace is catching on like wildfire within the private sector. This modern way of working is also rapidly seeping into the everyday work lives of government employees.
Transforming Government Operations with the Digital Workspace
The concept of the digital workspace is simple: enable employees to work from any device, anywhere and anytime. Organizations that fully embrace employee mobility and flexibility power their digital workspaces through a combination of desktop virtualization (VDI), applications and enterprise mobility management (EMM)—a technology trifecta that thoroughly supports an agency’s COOP and telework plans.
What the digital workspace means to a government’s COOP strategy is that traditional office-based employees can access full virtual desktops from home and remain productive. Field-based employees can continue to complete work onsite from tablets or smartphones. And, most importantly, first responders can use next-gen apps to deliver critical services with little to no increase in response times.
What the digital workspace also means is that government employees will continue to work rain or shine—or snowstorm.
Want to dive deeper into how VMware helps government agencies large and small enable telework through the digital workspace and business mobility? Read Making Telework a Reality in the Federal Government with VMware Horizon View.