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Congress Passes Telework Bill For Federal Employees

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By Sara Sciammacco, Capitol News Connection

A bill passed during this congressional lame duck session is designed to promote teleworking among federal employees, and that could mean financial and environmental savings.

When the federal government closed during a snowstorm last winter, workers continued to work electronically. Despite the shutdown, the teleworking productivity saved the government $30 million each day.

Virginia Congressman Gerry Connolly says the benefits go beyond the workplace. He says with fewer people on the roads commuting to and from work, drivers will save gas, and congestion and air quality problems will improve.

"We could eliminate 67 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually and reduce Persian Gulf oil imports by 40 percent," Connolly says.

Managers and supervisors have raised concerns over costs for computer security upgrades, and fear employees will disconnect from workplace communication.

The bill now heads to President Obama for his signature.

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