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January 30, 2013

Telework Exchange Adds Focus on Mobility

Telework Exchange announced on Tuesday that it changed its name to Mobility Worker Exchange (MWE) after adding worker mobility to its core functions. The Alexandria, VA based organization is a public and private partnership promoting teleworking and mobility programs for the federal government and its employees.

Although worker mobility is a new point of emphasis for MWE, it will continue to provide telework programs, including Telework Week, which takes place March 4-8, 2013, marking the third time the annual event has been held. As part of a global effort, workers are encouraged to telework anytime that week and can determine their impact and savings from doing so. The event is designed to accomplish several objectives, including easing automobile emissions, helping commuters save on commuting costs and complying with the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010.

According to MWE, the event back in 2012 had 71,000 employees pledge to telecommute. Collectively, they saved over $5 million in commuting costs, gained over 250,000 hours of time and removed over 3,000 tons of pollutants from the air.

The impact of teleworking by federal employees is significant. The 2012 Office of Personnel Management Status of Telework Report indicated that about one-fourth of the federal workforce reported doing some kind of teleworking, while about one-third was eligible to telework.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has upgraded technology to allow its workers to use mobile apps and web-enabled technology to work from almost anywhere.

MWE will focus on several key technologies and issues as it helps federal agency workforces become more mobile as well as more active in teleworking. Providing best practices in telework, balance of life, mobile device management, letting workers use their own devices, cloud technology and virtualization are among the topics MWE will assist agencies with. A new mobile IT center and their revamped publication, now called, “The Mobile Worker” are additional resources for employees.

The partnership between MWE and the federal government seems to be win-win for not just those two parties, but other DC area residents and taxpayers as well. Any practices or technology advances that federal agencies can implement will usually allow workers to be more productive, eases what may be the worst traffic congestion in the U.S. and will likely save taxpayers money.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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