Well, today some exciting news came that I simply must share! Telework has returned!
Now, to give some background…
Where I work, the prospect of telecommuting was a long time coming. A coworker of mine, recently retired, was actually one of the moving forces behind it actually happening, but it took her a very long time. Since I work at a library, one of the reasons that management was so reluctant was that they didn’t like us taking the books off of library property to work on them; other reasons had to do with them being fairly hidebound. I’m not saying that they didn’t have legitimate concerns, just that they were so stuck in the mud that they weren’t even interested in trying to figure out solutions, but instead wanted to ignore it as a possibility. Fortunately, they can’t, since Congress is really pushing telework these days just to get people off the roads, not to mention the possibilities of greater productivity and security concerns.
Anyway, about three plus years ago, through long, hard contract negotiations between labor and management, we got a telework pilot project. I was lucky enough to be one of those who got to work in it for two and half years. It was, for me at least, and the general consensus was for most everyone else as well, hugely successful. I was able to work at home two days a week, and was so much more productive on those days that it wasn’t even funny. I loved it! (five hours of travel time saved, plus approximately $20 in metro costs, the flexibility of working at home on days like today when snow hits, etc.)
To continue, the pilot project came to an official end back in September of this year, and there was considerable nervousness about whether or not we would be able to get it back. The union pushed it. (I’m not really a big Labor person, but there is no doubt that they serve an important purpose. Something like this is a prime example.) Some of the managers wanted it; others were less happy, I think. But it went through! Today we got the official announcement that it would happen, beginning again in January, and that applications would be reviewed after the deadline of 12/16. My application is already in. Yeah!
Now, of course, there is no guarantee that I will be a participant. There is a limited number of computers to be used, and because of the kind of work I do, I have to use one that they provide. But even if I have to wait, I will eventually be able to do it again, I have no doubt. It is something significant to look forward to, I’ve got to say.
Yes! Yes! telework is back!