Report: Telecommuting Options Expand for Federal, Private Sectors

CDW Corporation, a Vernon Hills, Ill.-based provider of technology products and services, today announced the findings of its fourth annual telework survey. According to a national survey of employees and information technology professionals in the private sector and the federal government, private-sector employers have taken significant steps to expand telecommuting initiatives since a year ago, and private-sector telecommuting adoption is approaching the federal level, with 14 percent of private-sector employees telecommuting, compared to 17 percent of federal employees.

The CDW survey shows that 76 percent of private-sector employers now provide technical support for remote workers, up 27 percentage points over 2007. Federal agencies remain strong advocates for telecommuters, with 56 percent of federal IT professionals indicating that their agencies provide IT support for telecommuters. Since 2005, federal IT support for telecommuting, also called telework, has grown 23 percent, according to a year-over-year trend analysis of telework survey data.

Ever-heightening concerns with traffic congestion, air pollution, and gasoline prices increase the attraction of telecommuting, and the 2008 CDW Telework Report also finds that the telecommuting option could improve employee recruitment, satisfaction, and retention. In fact, 50 percent of federal employees and 40 percent of private-sector employees say that the option to telecommute would influence their decision to remain with their employer or take a new job.

Further, broad telecommuting adoption could ensure the continuity of government and business operations in the aftermath of a major catastrophe, or even for the duration of a minor disruptive event--such as snowstorms, tornadoes, or wildfires--and this year's survey finds mixed news on the topic of continuity planning. In the private sector, continuity of operations capability increased but still trails the feds, with 46 percent of private-sector employees indicating that they could continue working during a disruption, up from 33 percent in 2007. Consistent with a marked decrease in federal telework eligibility, federal employees' ability to continue to work remotely in the event of a natural or man-made disaster has declined significantly since 2007, with 59 percent of federal employees indicating that they could telework during a disruption, down from 75 percent in 2007. For more information on the report or to download a copy, visit www.cdw.com/telework.

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