The Defense Information Systems Agency is moving from Northern Virginia to central Maryland. The news didn’t sit too well with DISA’s 4000 employees:
In the summer, DISA polled its employees, 75 percent of whom live in Northern Virginia, and found that at least half said they would not move to Fort Meade and that the rest were split between going and being undecided. To avert an exodus, the agency two weeks ago started allowing employees to work from home up to two days a week with permission from their supervisors. Previously, workers could telecommute only one day every two weeks, said Michael Thiem, a spokesman for DISA. The goal is “to get people used to the idea of telecommuting,” Thiem said. “What we hope to do is make Fort Meade more attractive for our workforce to stay with us.”
The Office of Personnel Management, a longtime supporter of “teleworking,” said the number of federal employees who telecommute has been steadily rising, jumping to 19 percent in 2004 from 4.2 percent in 2001. In the Washington area, it rose to 22,522 workers in 2003 from 14,621 in 2002.
Ted Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.