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Report Says Federal Employees Believe They Need to Work During Emergencies

June 28, 2010
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Ninety-three percent of Federal employees believe it is important that they continue working during an emergency or disaster, according to a survey by the Government Business Council, the research division of Government Executive Media Group, and CDW Government LLC (CDW-G), a leading source of Information Technology (IT) solutions to governments and education. More than half said they could function remotely for more than six days, and an additional 20 percent could accomplish critical tasks from an alternate location for one to five days.
 
"Federal employees want to get the job done, no matter the circumstance," said Andy Lausch, vice president of federal sales for CDW-G. "Today more than ever, Federal employees rely on mobility for seamless business operations. In turn, Federal agencies can better enable employees by creating secure virtual work environments and outfitting employees with the tools they need to make remote work possible, even under challenging circumstances."
 
While the majority of Federal employees said they could continue working remotely during an emergency, 31 percent said telework eligibility requirements and lack of coordination among agency decision makers have prevented their agency from being better prepared to continue operations, the survey revealed.
 
Many employees also said they are concerned about the availability of technology resources during an emergency. Sixty-two percent expressed concern that communications technology such as cell phones and wired phones would not work, and approximately 50 percent said they worried that data would not be accessible remotely, and that servers or networks would be overloaded. Eighty percent of employees said data backup and recovery systems are essential in the event of a system failure, pointing to the critical need to enable real-time data center failover during a disruption.
 
In addition to technology access, training on policies and available resources is essential to COOP. Still, just 57 percent of survey respondents said they were aware that their agency has a COOP plan, and 43 percent said their agency provides COOP training. Forty percent said their agency provides IT resources in emergency situations.

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