Feds face challenges after weeks off of work

It’s not just government contractors that are scrambling after the government shutdown, as federal employees face their own slew of problems as they return to work.

Overflowing inboxes are among the most immediate of issues, as well as the question of priorities for all of their content.

One strategy was suggested by Van Hitch, senior advisor at Deloitte Consulting and former CIO of the Justice Department. “I wouldn’t immediately dig into my inbox. I’d send out an email to employees welcoming them back and ask if anything is screaming for executive attention,” he said in an interview with

Aside from busy inboxes, though, IT managers have it especially tough. Unless they are willing to immediately sit down with their scheduling personnel and make a list of quick meetings with IT operations and planning personnel to establish a prioritized to-do list, they may face a backup of problems down the road, Hitch said.

It’s not all bad news, though; big data operations were unaffected at a few agencies, including NIH, NASA and NOAA. These sorts of operations have benefited from the impact of virtualization and cloud management, FCW quoted Christian Heiter, chief technology officer at Hitachi Data Systems Federal, as saying.

What it really comes down to is whether or not IT managers had a smooth shutdown, and whether they prioritized their operational responsibilities before it occurred, Hitch said. Now that they’re back, the key to smooth operations in the future is being organized, quick, and patient in the here and now.

About the Author

Mark Hoover is a senior staff writer with Washington Technology. You can contact him at, or connect with him on Twitter at @mhooverWT.

Reader Comments

Fri, Oct 18, 2013

Not the best advice IMHO - Step 1) don't read your email... Step 2) Send everyone an email and hope they are not following Step 1. How about call a mandatory staff meeting to tell everyone to triage and walk/call in any matters requiring immediate executive attention.

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