The government’s been trying to get more people to work remotely for many years now, with legislation that mandates agencies to enable more staff to adopt this mode of working and prevents government contractors being penalized for the use of teleworkers. TCG has always been a proponent of telework, and we’ve adopted technologies that support it. One such technology is VoIP (Voice over IP), which creates a centralized telephone system by using our people’s broadband connections, wherever they happen to be. GovExec has an article about the government’s use of VoIP today, and the article portrays the technology as a cure-all for teleworkers. It’s not. The biggest barriers to greater investment in government teleworking are cultural, not technological. Routing phone calls to remote offices has always been possible (though not always so inexpensive). As we learned at TCG, managing a teleworking staff takes a different set of disciplines than managing people that you can actually greet in the lobby every day, and it requires a very tangible shift in attitudes and approach. So it’s a mistake to believe that any technology can solve the increased-use-of-teleworkers riddle. Like any business problem, it’s primarily an organizational issue for which technology constitutes only a small piece of the solution.
One response to “VoIP and telework”
Great information here! I am going to see if I can find more work by you. Side note on Teleworking topic: the best resource for teleworking (web conferencing) tools is the top ten report on http://www.webconferencingcouncil.com. They have a whitepaper you can download on the left handside for top ten vendors in 2009, which is REALLY helpful in sorting out the top vendors. Their top vendor listed in the whitepaper is VIA3 from http://www.viack.com