Can cleared professionals telework? Definitely, and a growing number are taking advantage of the opportunity. An article in Government Executive’s Next Gov last week highlighted some of the challenges – and successes – in the government telework sphere.
The Telework Enhancement Act of 2011 required government agencies to explore telework opportunities. An increasing number of defense contractors are also answering the demand for more work-at-home opportunities, offering flex time and other benefits.
So how do classified work and telework coexist? While it’s possible to get a facility security clearance for your house few people actually have a SCIF in their garage – most cleared teleworkers take advantage of the fact that even cleared personnel do some non-cleared work – such as email or unclassified projects to work on.
Another option is telework centers, such as one operated by the Defense Information Systems Agency in Woodbridge, Va. The facility is designed to aid workers who would have been forced into a daily commute to the new DISA headquarters at Fort Meade, Md. For personnel living in Virginia, the move meant hours-long commutes to the new facility. DISA’s telework center provides the security of a government-run office, without the lengthy drive.
Technology is on the side of the teleworker, with government adoption of cloud technologies making telework easier, and opening up the security conversation.
“In the cloud environment, everybody is a remote worker,” said Josh Sawislak, a former General Services Administration official who is now a senior fellow at the Telework Exchange.
The reality is that the Wikileaks era has made telework a challenge. Access to sensitive information is more carefully considered, and for good reason. But thanks to new technologies, and a congressional mandate, telework opportunities are available for most cleared professionals.
Lindy Kyzer is the editor of ClearanceJobs.com. She loves cybersecurity, social media, and the U.S. military. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.