Yesterday House Representative Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced a bill that would encourage federal agencies to use telework and teleconferencing to cut down on costly travel expenses. The bill, called the Stay in Place, Cut the Waste Act, already looks to have bipartisan appeal, with 3 Republicans and 4 Democrats joining Fitzpatrick as co-sponsors.
The bill aims to cut federal travel expenses by 50 percent, or, failing that, by as much as the director of the Office of Management and Budget deems possible. Legislation that leverages existing technology to save federal employee time and government money seems like something even the historically unproductive 113th Congress could pass.
The bill notes that telework doesn’t just cut costs (though that is the main selling point). It can also “enhance communication and problem solving…reduce associated carbon footprints…increase employee productivity, thereby helping shorten project timelines, promote efficiency, improve collaboration among coworkers across the country, and improve work-life balance.”
Telework makes just as much sense for the government as it does for the private sector. We’ll be keeping an eye on this bill’s progress.
[Telecommuting image courtesy of Shutterstock]