Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options
CDC Home

TB Notes Newsletter

This is an archived document. The links and content are no longer being updated.

No. 2, 2009

DTBE Pilot Study on Teleworking

In the fall of 2008, DTBE initiated its telework (TW) pilot. The pilot was designed to provide insight into the sufficiency of the Division’s policy, check for logistical barriers to teleworking, and engage others—teleworkers, supervisors, and non-teleworkers—in TW as a work strategy. The Field Services and Evaluation Branch’s Program Evaluation Team formally evaluated the TW pilot. The evaluation focused on assessing stakeholder attitudes towards teleworking and changes in perceptions towards teleworkers’ job performance. Results from the evaluation point to key areas on which to focus in developing the Division’s future TW policy.

Twelve supervisors (including two who were teleworking) and 26 employees participated in the pilot and provided feedback on the process and policy. Seven non-teleworking staff voluntarily provided feedback at the conclusion of the pilot. As part of the evaluation, teleworkers and non-teleworkers were asked to complete self-assessments of work characteristics. Supervisors assessed their teleworking employees. These work characteristics—responsiveness, promptness, and productivity—were assessed when teleworkers were in the office and teleworking, on a scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (exceptional).

Overall, supervisors’ engagement with the concept of teleworking increased by 19 percentage points during the TW pilot, with 91% of management surveyed holding a positive attitude towards teleworking after the pilot in comparison with 72% before.

Change in  supervisor’s endorsement of teleworking strategy<
Figure 1. Change in supervisor’s endorsement of teleworking strategy

Forty-five percent of supervisors indicated a positive change in their attitude towards teleworking as a result of the pilot. Non-teleworking team members’ (n=7) engagement with the concept of teleworking increased by 28 percentage points during the TW pilot, with 100% of team members surveyed holding a positive attitude towards teleworking after the pilot in comparison with 72% before the pilot.

Differences between teleworker and supervisor perceptions of productivity were readily apparent. The majority of teleworkers (72%) reported exceptional productivity while teleworking, which contrasted with 40% of supervisors who rated their employees to have exceptional productivity. Supervisors’ perceptions of teleworkers’ productivity changed by nine percentage points from the midterm to the final evaluation with a decrease occurring in those perceiving “average” productivity and the increase in those noting “above average” productivity in their employees. The majority (96%) of teleworkers were deemed eligible to continue teleworking based on the supervisors’ evaluation of their job performance. Non-teleworkers indicated that their productivity during the TW pilot was not affected by their teleworking teammates.

Participants were also surveyed regarding logistical challenges encountered during the pilot. Approximately 20% of teleworking respondents reported that CITGO (a Web-based application CDC employees can utilize to securely access applications and data remotely) limited their functionality when teleworking. At the office, 37% of supervisors reported adjusting project timelines and reassigning tasks, delaying meetings with clients, and delaying decision-making at least once due (all or in part) to a team member teleworking. In contrast, 4% of teleworkers reported delaying meetings; teleworkers did not report encountering any of the other challenges in conducting their daily work duties.

Based on these and other data from the pilot, the following recommendations were made to senior staff to formulate the Division’s future telework policy.

Gauging stakeholder attitudes<

  • Continue to improve stakeholder attitudes, especially those in management, by encouraging supervisors to TW and by drafting clear telework plans with employees

Perceptions of teleworkers’ work characteristics

  • Supervisors should establish clear expectations of when tasks must be completed.
  • Establish alternatives to face-to-face meetings.


  • Clarify policy on equipment input from Division and the resources available for teleworkers.
  • Encourage open communication between teleworker(s), supervisor, and non-teleworker(s) on all tasks affected by teleworking.

—Reported by Lakshmy Menon, MPH
Div of TB Elimination


Contact Us:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Division of Tuberculosis Elimination (DTBE)
    1600 Clifton Rd., NE
    MS E10
    Atlanta, GA 30333
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
  • Contact CDC–INFO The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO
A-Z Index
  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #