Telework and Emergency Management

Telework and Emergency Management

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Inhaltsangabe:Abstract: You are the CEO of a company with 50 employees. In order to keep your deadlines and ensure the satisfaction of your customers that you depend upon, you need every worker every working day. You are located in a high rise in the downtown area of a metropolitan city, most of your employees live in the suburban quarters and because of lack of reasonably priced parking space commute by public transport. Imagine a public transport strike. No busses, no trains, no underground. The strike lasts five days. Traffic jams everywhere and no parking space. Will your employees show up? Chances are, they will not get to work on time, if they get there at all. How many customers will be dissatisfied with your service? How many employees do you have to pay although they did not do anything? How many workable hours will be lost? What costs do you have to pay although no income was generated? If your employees were teleworking, things would have been different. The qteleworkq concept is based on computers interconnected through phone lines and the idea of moving information instead of people can lead to a number of direct and indirect improvements for the organization and management of the workplace and its operations. The reduction of traffic, increased productivity, greater flexibility in balancing work and family demands and improved management of office space are well known benefits of teleworking from home or a telecenter. Although telework can contribute immensely to handling business interruptions through crises or disasters, this area is little explored. California is a place very prone to disasters. Located on the St. Andreas fault, the area experienced recently two major earthquakes and geologists expect another large earthquake within the next 30 years. Apart from natural disasters, also man made circumstances are threatening: In 1997, the State of California had by far the largest number of bombing incidents in the U.S. The State of California has an expressed need for effective emergency prevention, preparedness and management. Since the implementation of a telework pilot project from 1988-1990 the number of teleworking government employees is rising steadily and in that regard the State of California is a model for governments and corporations around the world. Disasters and emergencies cause interruptions to normal business procedures, in the private as well as in the government sector. Teleworking in emergency situations can successfully reduce business interruption, a connection that is to date not often made to the detriment of business continuity. In order to remain economically efficient and competitive, many business organizations adapt with a change in organizational structure and a strong use of information and communication technologies (ICT). Bureaucracy, hierarchy and market forms are moving to more open and fluent shapes, often labeled interactive , network or virtual . ICT is defined by an increase in speed of communication, dramatic reduction in the costs of communication, a sharp rise in communication bandwidth, vastly expanded connectivity, and an integration of communication with computing technologies. The adoption of telework programs is one expression of these developments. However, there are areas and disciplines with which the integration of ICT is very useful to optimize processes and solve problems. The employment of telework in emergency management is such an area. The possible advantages and disadvantages of telework in emergency management are the focus of the first part of this study. The second part sets out to investigate how government agencies in California, USA, use telework, are prepared for disasters and apply telework in a disaster situation. The data collection is based on an internship with the Telework Program at the Department of Personnel Administration of The State of California in Sacramento, California, USA. Inhaltsverzeichnis:Table of Contents: Acknowledgementsiii Table of Contentsiv 1.Introduction1 2.The Problem4 2.1Research Question5 2.2Definition of Terms6 3.What impact does telework have on the emergency management process?8 3.1Research Procedures8 3.2Literature Study11 3.2.aTelework11 3.2.bEmergency Management15 3.2.cTelework and the Emergency Management Process19 3.3Interviews24 3.4Conclusions30 4.How is telework employed in the emergency management process in California government agencies?32 4.1Research Procedures32 4.2Analysis and Interpretation of Results35 4.2.aThe Telework Situation (Questions 1-9)35 4.2.bPros and Cons of Telework (Questions 10 and 11)38 4.2.cDocumented Emergency Preparedness (Questions 12-17)39 4.2.dHandling an Emergency Situation (Questions 18-27)41 5.Summary and Conclusion45 ReferencesI Appendix A - Sections 14200-14203, California Government Code, Chapter 3IV Appendix B - Survey QuestionnaireVIOnly 12.2% were well prepared for an earthquake disaster and had a crisis management manual with an earthquake scenario in place. These and matching findings among employees leaves the authors to conclude that modern urban areasanbsp;...

Title:Telework and Emergency Management
Author:Stefanie Normann - 2000-07-13


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