Title

Trusting Telework in the Federal Government

Location

1052

Format Type

Paper

Format Type

Paper

Start Date

12-1-2017 3:40 PM

End Date

12-1-2017 5:00 PM

Abstract

Despite an Executive Office mandate to permit federal workers to telework, federal managers still deny employees this benefit. Several factors have been attributed to their aversion. We believe lack of trust is a factor. This paper presents the analysis of findings from a hermeneutical phenomenological study exploring the lived experiences and perceptions of 12 federal government managers who prohibit their employees from teleworking (Brown, 2013 ) to identify themes related to trust. The managers were from a single agency and held positions from first line to executive level. From their interviews Brown identified eight themes. In this paper those themes were analyzed using key words or ideas from the trust literature. Of the eight themes Brown identified, five focus on lack of trust: (a) past experiences; (b) employees maintain an acceptable level of productivity and accountability through the manager's decision to prohibit telework; (c) federal managers prohibit their employees from teleworking due to a lack of trust, reliable security, and a reduced level of productivity; (d) mentors play a large role in the decision federal managers make to prohibit telework for employees, and (e) the federal teleworking program has unclear requirements that leave the policy open for question and multiple interpretations. Success factors for enabling leaders’ trust of telework include clearly written guidelines and policies, sound technology and technological support, relevant performance measures, and a culture that enables managerial and employee trust.

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Jan 12th, 3:40 PM Jan 12th, 5:00 PM

Trusting Telework in the Federal Government

1052

Despite an Executive Office mandate to permit federal workers to telework, federal managers still deny employees this benefit. Several factors have been attributed to their aversion. We believe lack of trust is a factor. This paper presents the analysis of findings from a hermeneutical phenomenological study exploring the lived experiences and perceptions of 12 federal government managers who prohibit their employees from teleworking (Brown, 2013 ) to identify themes related to trust. The managers were from a single agency and held positions from first line to executive level. From their interviews Brown identified eight themes. In this paper those themes were analyzed using key words or ideas from the trust literature. Of the eight themes Brown identified, five focus on lack of trust: (a) past experiences; (b) employees maintain an acceptable level of productivity and accountability through the manager's decision to prohibit telework; (c) federal managers prohibit their employees from teleworking due to a lack of trust, reliable security, and a reduced level of productivity; (d) mentors play a large role in the decision federal managers make to prohibit telework for employees, and (e) the federal teleworking program has unclear requirements that leave the policy open for question and multiple interpretations. Success factors for enabling leaders’ trust of telework include clearly written guidelines and policies, sound technology and technological support, relevant performance measures, and a culture that enables managerial and employee trust.