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State Officials Discuss Collaboration on Telework

Officials with the California Department of General Services talked about milestones in telework and potential opportunities, at the recent California Department of Technology Vendor Forum.

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The state of California continues to work on telework, and it would welcome some company.

That was the message officials with the California Department of General Services (DGS) communicated to vendors during a discussion of “Telework Collaboration,” part of the recent California Department of Technology (CDT) Vendor Forum. Among the takeaways:

  • The state published its 2021 Telework Policy effective Oct. 1 as it moves “away from the emergency telework for state employees to a more long-term telework direction,” said Bob Summers, section chief over enterprise services for DGS. That’s a statewide policy, he reminded those at the virtual event, “having each department build their own internal policies” to mesh with the statewide form and reporting requirements.
    “In essence, we have the new Form 200, that’s the telework agreement; you can find that on the statewide forms library. And in that new agreement, it‘s a PDF, but we’re encouraging vendors to work with the various state departments to come up with different solutions to gather both the information and report on the information to us,” Summers said.
  • That being said, DGS isn’t “tied to the PDF,” but only to its content. “So, if you work with one of your state departments, I know various vendors that are coming up with the different solutions,” Summers said. The information being requested can’t be modified. Additional information can be added, but the “minimum set” derived from the Form 200 has to be present. The California State Telework Guide has specifications on what data departments are required to submit and the timeline.
  • Officials are gathering data from departments dating back to October, to be submitted monthly starting at the end of January – and forward from January monthly as well. Plans are to expand from a “very simple data set” to include more fields, matching the form. It will be fully implemented by year’s end, Summers said, with a rollout of how the data will be gathered. The data’s uses will include informing the Statewide Telework Dashboard, which documents everything from the percentage of state staffers teleworking to estimated gas dollars saved, to gauge the program’s progress.
    “I think what we’re going to be doing is really trying to measure success, as well as learn our lessons,” said Ana M. Lasso, DGS’ director. “I talk to the people all the time about, moving to hybrid is our beta version and ... as we move through 2022, we’ll find ways to improve and create spaces for creativity, collaboration and all of those spaces will include great technology products.”
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Industry Insider — California.