Telework an important business tool, not an entitlement

by Frederick TransIT Community Relations Manager. 0 Comments

The Confident Commuter gets many questions from people when out in the community promoting alternative work options to driving to work alone every day, 240 work days (give or take a few) a year.

By far the most common question is – why should some people be given the benefit of working from home when everyone can’t? This is such a common question that it deserves its own blog post!

Obviously, there are some jobs that can’t be done remotely from home or a hosted work space closer to home. Bus drivers, hair stylists, clerks, and receptionists definitely have to be physically present in a workspace in order to perform their work duties!

However, it has been proven that having a telework policy which allows employees who are in positions which are able to be performed from any desk equipped with a computer and telephone is often in the best interest of a business.  It provides a way for companies to:

1)      Remain open even if an emergency such as a natural disaster, system failure at the office, or other issue makes it impossible to open the office.

2)      Hire and retain top talent in key positions, and expand their pool of potential candidates by taking the factor of how far people live from the office out of the equation.

3)      Boost efficiency and productivity. Teleworking employees usually work more hours and are at least 20% more productive because they aren’t exhausted by a long, slow commute to work and they are grateful to have more time to spend with their families since they effectively gain 10-20 hours in a week that they’d have otherwise spent on the road.

4)      Greatly save on real estate and operating costs, as expenses for employees who work from home at least part of the time range from 30 percent to 70 percent less than those for employees who work in offices.

All of this shows that the ability to telework is not an entitlement which some employees receive while others don’t or can’t. Businesses which develop formal telework policies, empower supervisors to carefully monitor productivity and achievement of all employees (whether they work in the same location as the boss or not), and understand telework and other options (such as compressed work weeks and flexible work hours) as solutions for business continuity are more adaptable to market changes.

Businesses in Frederick County can receive FREE assistance with developing formal telework and alternative scheduling policies from the Employer Connections program of TransIT by calling (240) 397-6044 or sending an e-mail to tsfc@frederickcountymd.gov.

 

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