Feds Ahead on Telework

Private sector tech companies are known for their many perks and benefits, including fancy cafeterias, monthly massages, dry cleaning services and on-site doctors. But there may be one benefit where tech companies lag behind the federal government: telework.

According to this month's issue of the Dice Report, less than 1 percent of the total tech jobs posted on the Dice jobs website mention telework as an option. At the same time, more than one-third of technology professionals say they would cut their salary by up to 10 percent in exchange for telecommuting full-time.

Dice.com Managing Director Alice Hill notes that the main barrier to telework is the reluctance of IT leaders to enable it. "Maybe if we called it cloud commuting, CIOs would buy in," Hill writes.

The Office of Personnel Management reported in February that 5.72 percent of federal workers teleworked in 2009, an increase of more than 11,000 workers from the previous year. Those numbers are sure to increase in the coming years, however, as agencies are required under a new law to establish telework policies and programs for all eligible employees.

What value do you place on telework? Is it a more valuable benefit than fancy cafeterias and afternoon massages? If so, does having telework options give the federal government a competitive edge over the private sector for IT workers?