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Hurricane Season: Time to Work From Home Feds

Ben Farrell
August 10, 2011

More federal employees may be working from home this year at least in some areas of the country (I'm thinking about anywhere up and down the Atlantic Seaboard). Thanks to a busier than normal hurricane season, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry issued a memorandum to chief human capital officers reminding folks about the telework policies created to help federal workers during natural disasters.

FederalNewsRadio reported that if agencies are closed during a hurricane emergency an office can ask teleworkers to continue working at their alternative worksites on any workday even if they are not labeled as emergency workers. "One of the major benefits of telework is its ability to help maintain the continuity of government operations during emergency situations, while ensuring the safety of our employees," the memorandum said.

It's really the Perfect Storm for increased teleworking this year. The Telework Enhancement Act may be the tipping point for changing the culture, perception and practices of working remotely that have perplexed executives, managers and employees alike, according to a piece on That's good new to feds who want to avoid driving through a hurricane to get to work. And this is a good opportunity to make sure you and your agency are using the best possible products to ensure all tasks are done in a secure and timely manner.

Appian's BPM for Government solutions keep crucial processes moving forward. Our mobile BPM capabilities ensure workers stay connected and working no matter where they are. On the cloudiest of days, workers plugged into the cloud via their home work stations or mobile devices won't miss a step.

An interesting side note about teleworking and productivity during weather emergencies came from a Washignton, D.C. public radio show a couple weeks back. Kojo Nnamdi interviewed the chief of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the topic of teleworking and snowstorms came up. With proper software in place, a federal agency can get more productivity out of employees when they are at home. That's good no matter what the weather is like outside, but it's even better news when a hurricane hits.

Ben Farrell, Director, Corporate Communications