By the Workplace Transformation Committee
This week three Town Hall meetings were conducted for managers and supervisors. These meetings provided an overview on the future of the “mission-centric” mobile work environment and aimed at addressing misconceptions supervisors and managers may have -- especially as they guide their staffs through this transition. Tonya Schreiber began her presentation by stressing that telework is just one of several essential components of the mobile workforce concept. She urged supervisors and managers to coordinate with their staffs on what work can be accomplished from home or other alternate locations, identify what IT enablers are needed like WiFi, office communicator or voice-over-internet capability, and prepare for workspace changes.
“On any given day in private and federal sectors, on average, as many as forty percent of the staff is out of the office – whether on leave, business travel, telework or alternate work schedule,” Schreiber said.
A mobile workforce means employees will not be tethered to a desk, but rather have access to an open work space similar to the space at the NRCC that better facilitates collaboration and efficiency. We can no longer “nest” in individual offices or cubicles.
“We recognize that these changes pose challenges for some of you as supervisors and managers, but we are going to help you work through any issues and concerns,” Schreiber added.
Ultimately, moving toward a mobile work environment offers opportunities for better work-life balance while reducing our carbon footprint and saving energy as well as reducing our leasing cost. The mobile work concept is a DHS initiative supported by top FEMA leadership.
Deputy Administrator Richard Serino was in attendance and reiterated that employees are our most valuable asset and we are transforming how we work to ensure that our employees come first as our budget changes. “Mobile work means being able to work anyplace, anytime—we want to empower our employees to get the job done by giving them that right.” The Deputy Administrator also stressed this a collaborative initiative and all employees are encouraged to work with the workplace transformation team as this process continues.
In an effort to address a wide spectrum of questions, representatives were also available from the Office of the Chief Information Officer, Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, Facilities, Office of Chief Counsel and the Office of the Chief Component Human Capital Office.
Representatives from OCCHO stated that “Information is key -- it helps to take the fear out of the process
Panchella Cole, Human Capital telework coordinator, announced that the Mobile Work Exchange organization will host the third annual Telework Week, a global effort that encourages agencies, organizations, and individuals to make a pledge to telework, and encourages every employee to make the pledge.
Questions and answers from the meetings have been added to the Workplace Transformation FAQs on the FEMA intranet, as well as the slide presentation provided by Schreiber. Please continue to send questions and concerns to email@example.com and check the Workplace Transformation intranet site for updates.