GSA Telework Successes
Mobile work is the future of the workplace. At GSA, we are test-driving our own solutions, and bringing them to other federal agencies. Soon, GSA will will make accessible to your agency a joint enterprise offering to transform your workspace and culture. GSA will provide a consultation on the ways in which your organization can transform its physical workplace layout with new furniture and spacial organization, as well as the acquisition tools to procure the items needed for that space.
Mobility is the real ability for the workforce to work seamlessly from anywhere at anytime. At GSA, we have adapted our office environment to meet the needs of this national movement. The space focuses on creating a collaborative, adaptive and efficient workspace. By avoiding hard walled offices and row after row of cubicles we are able to open up the space and allow for a more adaptable environment. Reducing the space “assigned” to each individual we are able to provide more space to informally meet, gather and exchange ideas, plug in and collaborate, or unplug and concentrate. As business needs change the space simply changes with it with it by easily redefining these areas.
- Collaborative – Reduction of personal space and the increase of collaborative areas for small spontaneous meetings gives people the room to meet and exchange ideas. It is a much more inviting atmosphere. Cube rows and high walls tend to segregate the employees. The new space is inviting and allows employees to more easily and visually interact with co-workers. This allows easier access to share ideas and solve problems on the spot.
- Adaptive – Less hard walls and more flexible furniture solutions allow organizations to change the office as quickly and easily as their business processes.
- Efficient – The new mobile reconfiguration allowed an approximate increase of 60 percent of assigned workstations in the same area, opposed to a traditional 8’x8’ cube design. The lower furniture panels and open, fluid layout allows natural daylight to flood the mobile area with light. Eliminating the rows of stations provided natural paths through the space, which encourages workers to engage with each other. The areas are “buzzing” with activity that is visible throughout the space. Although the environment houses more people, the area appears to be open and inviting.
- Cultural - The mobile space is defined by the people working in the organization. It is an inclusive process that identifies individual workstyles and provides layouts to accommodate them. Some workers thrive in a more energetic atmosphere and others will need to find some quite space to accomplish the same task. Focus on these differences and provide a space that will accommodate them as the first goal of this transformation.
Please review GSA’s Customer Satisfaction Case Study for feedback from and a synthesis of our stakeholders’ review of mobile work and the link between telework and customer satisfaction.
Like many federal agencies and private organizations, GSA’s telework transformational journey has not been without a few bumps in the road. In the GSA Telework Recipe Book, the agency’s Program Management Office (PMO) retells the story of this journey with information gained through discussions, notes, interviews, and feedback from the members of the PMO team. This recipe book is useful for anyone dealing with the same challenges in implementing or enhancing telework initiatives.
Each “recipe” within is told with the following “ingredients”: Vision, Challenge, Process, Players, Outcome, and Next Steps. Additionally, the PMO included answers to frequently asked questions, along with a guide to help you select Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to work on your telework implementation team.
Implementing telework policies and measuring effective telework now means your organization will be prepared for mobile work in unexpected situations. If an emergency or inclement weather arises and limits employees’ access to their regular work location, an organized telework plan means your team’s work can continue, and you can serve your customers.
GSA is one of several government agencies known for emphasizing a healthy work-life balance for its employees, and uses telework as a means to that end. Not only does telework allow for greater efficiencies and conserved resources, but allowing employees to work in a flexible physical and cultural space creates a more engaged and enthusiastic workforce.
Telework is non-generational. Because equal access to technology across your organization means equal opportunities to engage with employees’ customers and work in a mobile environment, everyone can telework - and everyone can succeed.