April 6, 2021


DOD Workers Want to Keep Teleworking, Despite Early Hiccups, Survey Finds (Mila Jasper, 4/06/21, Defense One)

Using unauthorized applications or sharing DOD information over improperly secured devices, even temporarily, increases the risk of exposing sensitive departmental information that could impact national security and DOD missions."

Survey respondents had ideas for how to improve telework, suggesting DOD provide them with more equipment like computers and monitors, and make the network more accessible but also asking for more management support of telework. 

One survey respondent management needs to "rid itself of their self-imposed psychological barriers" around telework and learn how to manage based on outcomes rather than who is coming into the office or not. Another called micromanagement "rampant." On the other side of the coin, managers reported telework has made it harder to ensure employees are doing their jobs.

Respondents also said they need more IT support to teach them how to use collaboration tools. Still, DOD OIG found productivity did not suffer because of connectivity issues, and overall, 80.3% of respondents who provided written comments expressed positive sentiments about telework. 

The survey also gave a peek into what DOD employees want the future of work to look like: for example, respondents said they want to be able to live anywhere and telework permanently. 

"If I can't trust an employee to get quality work done from offsite, then I likely cannot trust them to get quality work done while onsite," one employee wrote. "It seems counter-intuitive to me, and contrary to supporting the need for the most talented and flexible workforce, to restrict telework merely because that is 'how it's always been done.'"

Based on its findings, DOD OIG recommended the assistant secretary of Defense for homeland defense and global security update DOD's Implementation Plan for Pandemic Influenza to include the use of telework for essential and non-essential personnel and align the plan with the DOD Telework Policy as well as require DOD components to update their pandemic plans. 

Posted by at April 6, 2021 7:10 AM