Federal Telework: Better Guidance Could Help Agencies Calculate Benefits and Costs

With over 1 million federal employees eligible for telework in 2013, federal agencies are fully engaged in incorporating telework as a standard human capital flexibility. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) was asked to review the benefits and costs associated with agency telework programs. This report (1) identifies the reported benefits and costs associated with federal agency telework programs and assesses the extent to which selected agencies have supporting data; and (2) identifies some of the key resources that federal agencies can use to help calculate benefits and costs associated with their telework programs. For this review, GAO selected six agencies—the Department of Transportation (DOT), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), General Services Administration (GSA), Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)—based on criteria that included agency size and reported cost savings from telework. GAO analyzed selected agencies’ documents and interviewed agency officials to assess the extent that these agencies had supporting data. GAO also compiled and reviewed potential resources for agencies. GAO recommends that the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) should include cost savings questions in future telework data calls and provide clarifying guidance on options for developing supporting data for benefits and costs. OPM concurred with both recommendations. OPM will include cost savings questions from previous surveys in the 2016 agency telework survey. OPM will work with the Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCO) Council to develop more guidance for agencies on evaluating the benefits and costs of telework programs.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 43p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01608523
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: GAO-16-551
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 1 2016 2:21PM