Telework Keeps USPTO Costs in Check
In the past five years, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has seen its number of employees jump from 6,000 to nearly 10,000, but thanks to the agency’s telework/hoteling program, the impacts on the agency’s Alexandria headquarters have been minimal, USPTO Telework Senior Advisor Danette Campbell tells FedScoop.
We spoke with Campbell in preparation for her appearance Wednesday, August 24, at FedScoop’s Lowering the Cost of Government IT Summit where she will join Office of Personnel Management Deputy Chief of Staff Justin Johnson to discuss the impacts of telework.
According to Campbell, about 6,400 USPTO employees participate in some type of telework program. She also said 3,300 of these employees are currently hoteling and have voluntarily given up their office space at agency headquarters to telework from home four or five days per week.
Hoteling is a telework arrangement in which employees are not assigned permanent space in a central office, but rather share offices and conference space as necessary when on-site. Such space is assigned by reservation, much like a hotel. Employees teleworking under this program are required to visit the Alexandria, VA campus twice every pay period for the purpose of maintaining their duty station.
“Currently, more than 400 of these hoteling employees are living outside of the Washington metropolitan region and commute to the Alexandria campus twice per bi-week,” Campbell said. “By allowing them to hotel and not commute into the region as frequently, we’ve made a positive impact on emission reduction in the region. The USPTO Hoteling Program has enabled the agency to hire new employees without securing additional real estate. This program also positions the USPTO as an employer of choice.”
This program is just one of many things Campbell said she plans to discuss at Wednesday’s event. She plans to also discuss the agency’s third quarter telework statistics, the OPM’s upcoming data call, the discussion of telework with Department of Commerce employees she just held and the further impacts of the Telework Act of 2010.