Federal Agencies Lagging Behind Mobility Trends

Only 16 percent of federal employees give their agencies an "A" for equipping employees with mobile tools, but workers equipped with smart phones report an average time savings/productivity gain of almost an hour a day.

Approximately 1.4 million federal employees spend some time out of the office each day without the technology to stay connected. According to a new study by Telework Exchange, the government could achieve an estimated $37 million a day in productivity if those workers were supplied with smart phones.

Moreover, the study shows the federal mobility-without-connectivity trend is increasing. According to the survey, 82 percent of federal workers spend work time outside of the office each month, and 29 percent say they spend more time working outside of the office today than they did this time last year.

Among government managers (GS levels 7-11), the study shows 72 percent spend work time out of the office - including telework, travel and meetings outside of the office - yet only 9 percent of those managers are armed with smart phones. Federal employees who use smart phones for work purposes report an average time savings and/or productivity gain of 54 minutes per day.

"Mobile technology enables employees to work smarter and make the most of their time - regardless if they are a teleworker or mobile worker," Cindy Auten, general manager, Telework Exchange, said in a statement.

Auten noted that the majority of federal workers are already mobile in some manner or another by traveling to and from the office or client sites, working at home and meetings away from their desks.

The study also asked federal workers to grade their agencies support for mobile workers. Only 16 percent of workers gave their employers an "A," but 42 percent graded their agency with a "B" or "C."

"Mobile technology plays a critical role in empowering employees to remain productive, regardless of their location," Auten said.

Telework Exchange bases its estimate of $37 million a day in productivity gains on multiplying the 1.4 million federal workers without smart phones by the 54 minutes a day in gains claimed by those with smart phones to come up with 1.27 million hours gained per day. That is then multiplied by the average federal wage of $29 per hour.