Could new legislation cause a dramatic uptick in the purchase of new laptops and other mobile technologies for federal workers? If President Obama signs the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 into law and many expect he will the answer is, maybe.
The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 which passed the House of Representatives and was sent to Obama last week requires each executive agency to establish a policy under which federal employees would be able to work remotely to the maximum extent possible without impacting performance or agency operations. The issue has been discussed for years but supporters are cheering the recent passage of the bill which they say will increase worker productivity, save money, and help save the environment.
More federal workers teleworking could be a boon to technology suppliers, according to some of the companies who supported the legislation and are part of the Telework Exchange, a public-private partnership that supports telecommuting among Federal employees. But while the prospect of more laptops seemed a natural conclusion to such legislation, the Telework Exchange had no immediate predictions or government IT purchases as a result. According to the Telework Research Network, however, the bill could save taxpayers over $15 billion a year, and the savings would pay for the five-year cost of implementing the programs (approximately $30 million) in just one snow day.