Reboot the Commute Guide | 2019

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Reboot The Commute Guide | 2019 Alternative commuting strategies for the Charleston region

#RebootTheCommute -------------------------------------------------------------------------

Why Reboot Charleston’s Commute?


With 50,000+ new jobs added since 2010 and a regional population growing three times faster than the U.S., the Charleston metro continues to benefit from its economic success. This growth has also placed significant strains on the region’s housing supply and transportation infrastructure. In 2018, the threeweek closure of the Wando Bridge on I-526, a vital transportation corridor, put these “growing pains” in sharp relief. It also offered our community an opportunity to effect lasting change. Your help is needed to make a difference! While more than $6 billion will be spent mainly on existing regional infrastructure over the next 10 years, the simple truth is we cannot build our way out of congestion. We must also focus on efficient use of existing infrastructure and shifting our commuting behavior. Now is the time to encourage employers and commuters to use alternate strategies to mitigate congestion and “Reboot the Commute.” The Economic Leadership Council represents 20 of the region’s largest employers and 10%+ of the region’s workforce. We have worked with public, private, and academic stakeholders to understand current commuting patterns, alternative strategies for employers and employees, and the benefits – to employers, employees, the environment, and our economic competitiveness – of changing Charleston’s commuting behaviors. This Guide is the result of our work. We hope you will use this for the benefit of your organization and to protect our region’s quality of place. Together, we can Reboot The Commute. Sincerely,

Anita Zucker Chair, Economic Leadership Council Chairperson & CEO, The InterTech Group Copyright © 2018 by Charleston Regional Development Alliance. All rights reserved.


TABLE OF CONTENTS Making the Case for Change ▪ Congestion/population growth data ▪ Current/ongoing/future transit projects, timing ▪ Survey data, commuter preferences

New Commuting Strategies ▪ Definition of terms ▪ Examples of commuting strategies ▪ How to get started

Benefits of Rebooting the Commute

▪ Benefits – employers, employees, environment ▪ Local testimonials

Appendix ▪ Data, links, article, sample documents, etc. ▪ Policy, HR legal considerations + samples/links


The Case for Change

Commuter Congestion Data

2018 Metro Population


Region’s workforce commutes alone via car to work


Charleston’s workforce works from home or telecommutes


Carpool (car, truck, van )

Source: Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments CHATS2040 Long Range Transportation Plan


Small Changes = BIG IMPACT

60% of Charleston area commuters drive to work between

6:00 - 8:30 a.m.

If just

would avoid peak congestion via an alternative strategy

would be eliminated from the roadways That’s enough to completely for its entire 19-mile stretch Source: Charleston Center for Business Research


Commuters (2006 -2016)

Young Professionals Prefer Car-Optional Places

Mobility preferences are different than previous generations

-23% -23% Personal PersonalAutomobile automobile

+40% Pubic Transportation

+24% Biking

More than half would seriously consider moving to another city if it offers a wider choice of transportation options

Source: Urban Land Institute “America in 2015� study


Infrastructure Investment is Happening, But Won’t Be Enough

$6 Billion will be spent over the next 10 years

with funding from roads Bill (H.3516)

in projects underway in the

Charleston region

• • • •

Volvo interchange I-526 Lowcountry Corridor upgrades Port access road Multiple Berkeley County projects


Reboot the Commute Survey Immediately after the May 2018 Wando Bridge closure, the CRDA’s Economic Leadership Council worked with regional partners to survey locals on commuting changes and what new behaviors they would like to continue.

36% interested in public transportation options (bus, ferry, etc.)

51% successfully modified their commute


favor working from home for several hours each day

58% favor working from home one or more days per week

59% favor flexible work schedules



Transit Solutions

Lowcountry Go promotes flexible work schedules and alternative commuting options to reduce traffic congestion. It provides information & support to employers on incorporating incentives & benefit-based programs for employees, and tools for individual commuters to connect with alternative options.

Contact: Vonie Gilreath, Mobility Manager at | 843.529.0400


Consider New Commuting Strategies

Opportunities to make a change

Employer-based strategies

Work flextime:

Compressed work week:

Allows employee flexibility in daily work schedules to avoid travel congestion during peak hours – Roper St. Francis

Enable employees to accomplish same work in fewer days; typically four 10-hour days or nine 9-hour days over two weeks, with every other Friday off – City of North Charleston

Staggered shifts:

Work from Home/Telecommuting:

Spacing out work shifts to minimize impact of employees arriving/departing workplace at one time – Boeing

Flexible solution that tends to increase employee productivity, engagement, and reduce stress – Federal Highway Administration

Carpool / Vanpool:

Park & Ride:

Encouraging & incentivizing co-workers to share an auto or van for commuting; some companies provide or subsidize vans – MUSC

Parking lots with public transport connections allowing commuters heading to urban centers to leave their vehicles/bikes – College of Charleston, MUSC, Hospitality Workers Shuttle


Flexible Work Schedules

According to the Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM), the push for flexible work strategies has gained momentum as employers look to attract & retain employees, reduce stress, and improve employee productivity & morale

What concerns hold companies back? • Employer concerns about employees conducting assignments if not physically in their workplace • Employee concerns about advancement if not in supervisors’ “line of sight” • Employer/employee concerns of effectiveness in highly collaborative work environments if employees aren’t physically together


Work from Home Many companies allow employees to work from home: either for a few hours each day to avoid peak congestion times, one or more days a week, or on a full-time basis. If this isn’t feasible for your entire organization, it may work for some employees depending on their specific tasks. Research shows working remotely one day a week can have a positive impact on traffic congestion and worker productivity.

---------------------------------------------------------------------The Charleston Trident Association of Realtors allows workers to work from home multiple days of the week, or to work a compressed work week. The Federal Highway Administration offers telecommuting for employees.


Region’s workforce commutes alone via car to work


Carpooling is a way to reduce congestion, save money and time. Consider starting a program for your employees. Some companies use incentives (such as free or subsidized parking) to encourage participation.

Connects individuals with a commuting partner by searching for others who live nearby and have similar schedules and destinations. Commuters register at Lowcountry Go to get started.



Vanpools are ideal for groups of 5-15 employees who live near each other, can split driving, maintenance, insurance, and fuel

Many employers subsidize vanpools to offer greater incentives and cost savings for employees

Lowcountry Go works with Enterprise Rideshare to offer a regional vanpool program. If you are interested in starting a vanpool program for your organization, visit Lowcountry Go or directly contact Enterprise Rideshare. -------------------------------------------------------------------------

Emergency Ride Home

Lowcountry Go offers Emergency Ride Home, reimbursable taxi or rideshare services home to registered carpool or vanpool users. Registered users can use taxi or rideshare services (Uber, Lyft, etc.) for emergency trips and be reimbursed up to $55 for each use, up to 3X per calendar year. The program can also be used as a stand-alone service for employers. Contact Lowcountry Go to learn more.

Worried about getting stuck if you carpool?


Public Transit


Offers local and Express Commuter routes, with parkand-ride options, throughout region

Offers services to rural residents and connections to the CARTA system

User-friendly planner app for schedules, bus stop locations, routes, etc. (available for Apple and Android devices)

On-demand express routes program for those with disabilities or limited mobility


Bike / Walk

Biking or walking to work is not an option for everyone, but can be a way to connect the first and/or last mile of a commute with other options like public transit or carpooling

Holy Spokes, a bike share program offering access to bicycles in 27 locations for point-to-point travel on the peninsula

Charleston Moves, a non-profit advocacy group for enhanced pedestrian and bicycle access, provides additional resources for those interested in a connected network of bike lanes and safe infrastructure


How to get started? STIR

SHRM recommends developing your organization’s program using the STIR model:

Strategize | Transform | Implement | Recalibrate

Step 1: Strategize To accelerate acceptance, carefully consider & communicate how flexible work strategies can drive your overall business strategy For some companies, it’s a powerful recruitment and retention strategy

Step 2: Transform Successful programs require employees to communicate & interact differently to maintain highly productive work teams. Change management strategies include: ✓ Assess readiness to implement a new way of working ✓ Identify and address concerns in a meaningful way ✓ Use clear, regular communications that explain strategies, acknowledge challenges, and celebrate successes Source: SHRM



Step 3: Implement Establish a coordinator in a senior leadership position, with responsibility and authority to support program design, develop policies & procedures, and provide technical assistance Establish policies & procedures with parameters, standards, definitions, rules and clear expectations for employees & supervisors; many programs have customized policies for specific work groups Assess eligibility for flexible work at task level vs. position as a whole; it may seem counterintuitive for some positions to telework but some tasks may be performed more effectively while working remotely



Step 3: Implement (cont.)

Provide employees and supervisors with training and support to reinforce expectations and maintain strong communication and high performance

Provide an on-call coach or support group to provide real-time support for problem-solving

Establish pilot programs to test-run implementation for organizations where flexible work represents a significant shift



Step 4: Recalibrate Use performance metrics, such as customer satisfaction and recruitment/retention data, to: ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓

Assess the impact of flexible work strategies Cultivate greater support from senior leaders Establish ROI Identify areas of improvement

All Reboot the Commute programs should be examined & adjusted periodically to reflect organizational changes in goals, workforce, technology, and external environment -------------------------------------------------------------------------

Assessing Readiness Tool

“Commuter Conscious” Employer Survey developed by CRDA’s Economic Leadership Council

The survey will: • Help assess your organization’s current state of readiness for a flexible work/telecommuting program • Identify how many local organizations have traffic mitigation programs and what strategies are being implemented • Enable future resurveying to measure regional progress toward reducing traffic congestion

Download Survey Link


Reboot Employer Survey Example The Commute Survey

Thank you for taking our survey! Based on your responses there may be additional options your firm could investigate to help employees with challenging commutes. Consider: Your firm’s score as of today:

Score 17.2% 5/26 -------------------------------------------------------------------------


Reboot the Commute Participant Badges

Companies and commuters can promote their participation Click on badge to save file -------------------------------------------------------------------------

Implementation Publicize your efforts to Reboot Charleston’s Commute Utilize as talent recruitment and retention tool


Benefits of Rebooting the Commute

Benefits of Rebooting the Commute Employee Engagement

Increased productivity

Reduced stress

Enhanced morale



Full-time Telecommuters save



Less air pollution


Average employee gains back

greenhouse gas emissions

Less roadway wear & tear


days/year •

Save time & $$$ Employers save


per half-time telecommuter per year

Source: 2017 State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Employee Workforce, Global Workplace Analytics & Flexjobs


Employerof Benefits Benefits Telecommuting

Slow the brain drain

Focus on employee results vs. presence

Lower or eliminate parking and transit subsidies

Become a “best place to work”

Solve parking availability problems

Expand the labor pool and reduce talent/labor gaps

Reduce travel time to and from meetings

Increase employee performance & engagement

Reduce work/life conflict

Lower employee stress

Source: 2017 State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Employee Workforce, Global Workplace Analytics & Flexjobs



In 2016, we implemented a work from home option (1-3 days per week) and have seen excellent results. We currently maintain a 95% employee retention rate, I believe in part due to our flexible work policies.

Our staff members that utilize these benefits are very appreciative of the flexibility it allows them and the time it saves them. In turn, I am very appreciative of the increased productivity from these employees, who are spending less time sitting in traffic and more time getting straight to work on the days they telecommute.

Wil Riley, CEO Charleston Trident Association of Realtors




My employer allows me to work from home two days per week, which I very much appreciate.

It is a VERY popular perk for everyone who takes advantage of it in my office. Working from my home office allows me to work from a treadmill desk, which I like much better than my sit-to-stand desk at work. It is a perk that would be hard to decide to leave behind without a really good reason.


Suzanne Coffman Roper St. Francis



Our work schedule is fairly flexible. Our standard hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Thursday and 8am-12pm Friday. Some employees arrive early at work and leave early to avoid traffic. Our office is in Mount Pleasant so the staggered start/leave times are typical for employees who live in Summerville, North Charleston, James Island, Johns Island, etc. During the bridge closure, affected employees were allowed to work from home. This allowed everyone to stay safe and continue working. Frances Timmons, PE Civil Engineering Project Manager, SeamonWhiteside



Appendix •

National & Regional Data (Pages 35-44)

Policy Examples (Pages 45-74)

SHRM + Articles (Pages 75-117)

Appendix •

National & Regional Data

National Data

Telecommuting, Walking, Biking and Public Transit are the fastest growing modes of transportation nationally.

Source: 2017 State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Employee Workforce Global Workplace Analytics + FlexJobs


National Data

Source: 2017 State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Employee Workforce Global Workplace Analytics + FlexJobs


National National Data Data

Online college data

Source: 2017 State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Employee Workforce Global Workplace Analytics + FlexJobs


Comparative Metros

Means of Transportation to Work 2017

Of total workers, % who





Car, truck, or van drove alone





Car, truck, or van carpooled





Worked at home





Source: US Census Bureau, American Community Survey


Charleston Regional Data

Means of Transportation to Work (2006-2017)

Of total workers, % who:



Car, truck, or van - drove alone



Car, truck, or van - carpooled



Worked at home



Source: US Census Bureau, American Community Survey


Charleston Regional Data

Worker Occupations, Worked at Home (2006 – 2017)



Worked at home:





Management, business, science, and arts occupations





Service occupations





Sales and office occupations

















Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

Military specific occupations

Source: US Census Bureau, American Community Survey


Comparative Metros

Commuters: Time Leaving Home to go to Work, 2017 Time Leaving Home to go to Work


Charleston Austin


5:00 a.m. to 5:29 a.m.





5:30 a.m. to 5:59 a.m.





6:00 a.m. to 6:29 a.m.





6:30 a.m. to 6:59 a.m.





7:00 a.m. to 7:29 a.m.





7:30 a.m. to 7:59 a.m.





11.0% 5.4% 56.9%

11.4% 5.1% 59.6%

11.7% 6.8% 58.9%

12.9% 7.5% 60.3%

8:00 a.m. to 8:29 a.m. 8:30 a.m. to 8:59 a.m. % between 6 a.m. & 8:29 a.m.

Source: US Census Bureau, American Community Survey


Charleston Comprehensive Parking Study

Source: Department of Traffic and Transportation City of Charleston


Source: Department of Traffic and Transportation City of Charleston


Appendix •

Policy Examples

Flexibility- Workplace Approved By: Human Resources


POLICY / PROCEDURE Owning Department: Applicable To: Human Resources

Effective Date: 12/24/2016


Date Last Approved: 05/02/2017


The purpose of this policy is to define company policy on when work is scheduled and where work is performed and applies to full-time, exempt and contract, non-exempt Employees. With the advancement of technology, where all Employees have a Company provided laptop and are able to utilize secure access to the Internet, intranet, and proprietary software programs, the physical requirements of being in the office have changed; work can often be performed remotely – whether it be from a home office or other appropriate business setting. In addition to expanding the work location, the issue of when work is conducted is also expanding. For planning and business purposes, this policy establishes the guidelines for increased flexibility in scheduled work hours and work location. The Company allows for FlexTime and FlexPlace arrangements, those which vary from normal business locations as defined in the Employees’ Handbook, to be offered at the discretion of the respective Manager as a means of continuing to provide excellent service to clients, while meeting departmental goals and balancing Employee’s work/life demands. The flexibility to vary from established work hours and location is offered as a benefit to employees who are in good standing and may be revoked at management’s discretion. Flexibility in the work schedules and locations, when applied appropriately, can provide a way to manage people, time, space, resources and workload more effectively, improve business coverage, improve recruitment, reduce commute time and expense, and enhance morale while meeting business needs and having a predictable work schedule for internal and external business partners. THE LANGUAGE USED IN THIS POLICY DOES NOT CREATE AN EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT BETWEEN THE EMPLOYEE AND THE COMPANY. THE COMPANY RESERVES THE RIGHT TO REVISE THE CONTENTS OF THIS POLICY IN WHOLE OR IN PART AT ANY TIME. 2.0


This policy applies to all divisions of the Company. 3.0


3.1 Standard Business Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. 3.2 Core Business Hours are 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Monday – Thursday. Support functions whose business processes require Friday work have the flexibility to move the “off” and 8-hour day to assure that sufficient coverage is provided and will be by exception. FlexTime Hours are any variation from the Standard Business Hours, and must include the Core Business Hours and total no more than nine hours per work day. While access to facilities and computer networks are 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, primary work should target the hours of 5:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. 3.3 The following scenarios are not within the scope of the FlexTime and FlexPlace policy:

  

Part-time Employees whose flexible working conditions are defined in their Terms of Employment Notice. Occasional afterhours work from home or during peak workloads such as proposal development. Work while on Company travel.

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Flexibility- Workplace

  4.0

Contract, non-exempt Employees working in California are not authorized to work more than 8 hours per day. Temporary or emergency telecommuting that may be appropriate during short-term illness, transportation emergency due to weather, a natural disaster, or pandemic health crises.


Employees wishing to work a flexible schedule must request it from their respective manager. Managers have the discretion to use a form or give authorization verbally or via e-mail. Flexible arrangements may be implemented for a defined period of time with scheduled, periodic reassessments to evaluate effectiveness. It is important to note that the Managers must be careful to consider cross-team impacts when considering these options – what works well for a single work group might be problematic for those charged with Company-wide training and event planning. Regardless of the flexible arrangement, attendance at all Employee events, such as quarterly meetings, etc. remains a job requirement. Denials of a request for flexibility must be in writing and a copy provided to Human Resources. 5.0


Core Business Hours – Encompass the hours of 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Monday – Thursday, and include at least a 30 minute break for lunch. FlexTime - A work schedule that allows flexibility in work hours and includes on-site presence during Core Business Hours for a maximum of a nine-hour day, which includes a minimum 30minute break for lunch. Does not include time worked on weekends. FlexPlace – With the advanced approval of their respective Manager, Employees may work remotely. The Manager will be responsible to ensure adequate departmental coverage. Work can be performed at an alternate workplace not owned or controlled by the Company; for example a home office or other acceptable work setting. Pay Period – two, forty-hour work weeks  10/80 – Ten, eight hour days equating to a pay period of 80 hours.  9/80 – Eight, nine-hour days and one eight-hour day, equating to a pay period of 80 hours. One week will be 36 work hours (four, nine-hour days) with an additional day off followed by a week of four, nine-hour days and one, eight-hour day. For example: Mon 9 9

Tues 9 9

Wed 9 9

Thurs 9 9

Fri Off 8

Total 36 44 80

Work Week For non-exempt contract Employees who work the 9/80 schedule, the second week begins after forty hours have been charged, so that no week has more than 40 hours of work and no overtime is incurred. For example, once an employee works 40 hours, a new work week begins. The day off and the 8-hour day are at the concurrence of the Manager and Employee and may vary according to business and personal needs. Page 2 of 7

Flexibility- Workplace 6.0


The CEO will establish Company-wide flex policy and monitor the policy’s impact on the business. Managers have the authority to approve FlexTime arrangements and responsibility to ensure business objectives are met. 7.0


Managers will consider requests for FlexTime work schedules on a case-by-case basis subject to: a. The nature of business unit demands – consortia management, traveling, home-office support for remote meetings and travelers, etc.; b. Suitability to the individual’s role in our client-centered business model; c. Individual’s performance; d. Appropriate balance of benefit to flexed Employee versus potential added burden to coworkers; e. Timekeeping and labor-charging requirements imposed by federal contracts; and f. Productivity and results. 8.0


FlexTime arrangements are options to be implemented using the judgment of Managers. There is no entitlement to these arrangements by virtue of employment with the Company. This option is a departure from the normal work routine that must be mutually agreed upon by the Employee and Manager, with final approval by the Manager. Serious consideration will be given to each reasonable request, and arrangements will be authorized only when it is in the mutual best interest of the Company and the Employee to do so. Management reserves the right to discontinue this benefit at any time, for any reason; to the extent possible, consideration will be given to minimize the impact of changes in schedule. Not for Every Position The variability inherent in our business lines, contracts, management styles and staffing levels requires that there is no one-size-fits-all decision criteria suited for Company-wide use. The Company’s management strategy relies on the sound judgment of Managers to meet their clients’ demands. Accordingly, the judgment of individual accountable Managers on the suitability of the position to a non-standard schedule in light of his or her unique demands is a primary factor in each decision. Job Performance Performance must remain strong to continue with FlexTime and FlexPlace arrangements. Clear communication regarding expectations of work to be performed is paramount when Employees are exercising increased flexibility. Managers are responsible to evaluate individual job performance to ensure expectations are met. Day Off Managers have discretion to determine which day in the pay period is an 8-hour day, and which day the Employee may have off; however, each work week will not exceed 40 hours. 9.0


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Flexibility- Workplace

It is incumbent on the employee to notify customers, clients, colleagues and co-workers of their availability during the Standard Work Week. Outlook calendars must be kept current so that business activities remain efficient and meetings can be scheduled. 10.0


• Communicate work plans and progress with manager; • Communicate availability to customers, clients, colleagues and co-workers; • Complete timesheet on a daily basis, in accordance with Timekeeping Policy; and • Attend Company functions as scheduled. • Assure that department goals are met; • Assure adequate staffing coverage during Standard Business Hours; • Sign timesheets and assure apportionment of hours is correctly calculated; • Assure definition of work week for non-exempt employees; and • Approve/deny requests for flexibility. Copies of denials of requests for flexibility must be provided to Human Resources. 11.0


Position and Employee It is the responsibility of each Manager to determine if a proposed FlexPlace work location would be suitable to both the position and the individual involved. This determination is a function of the nature of the business, the demands of internal customers and external clients and the nature of the work functions performed by the Employee. Managers must assess the impact and outcome in terms of productivity, quality and absenteeism, in relation to availability and business coverage within the area of responsibility. Work that can be conducted independently, through electronic exchange, and/or by telephone may be best suited to work remotely. Managers should also reflect upon their own management style to assess whether the management techniques that are in place are supportive of FlexPlace objectives and conducive to successful outcomes. Managers and Employees are urged to carefully review both advantages and disadvantages before setting up new FlexPlace agreements, to explore the wide variety of arrangements possible, and to address potential problem areas. Some positions in the Company may not lend themselves to FlexPlace work schedules. Consequently, when a regular, full-time Employee encounters an incidental, external situation that requires time and/or presence during their regular work schedule, the Employee may request consideration from their Manager to temporarily work remotely. Temporary workplace request will adhere to the same standards and practices as outlined below. 12.0


Employees working in a FlexPlace location may not compromise the confidentiality or security of Company, Client, Partner or subcontractor information due to remote computer access, etc. Unauthorized disclosure, perusal, or altering of information by an Employee is a serious violation, and may be cause for disciplinary action. Accidental breaches of confidentiality while working remotely may be cause to terminate the FlexPlace arrangement. All sensitive material must comply with Company policies as defined in the Sensitive But Unclassified Policy. 13.0


Employees who work remotely are responsible to verify full access to all software, e-mail, and network prior to beginning remote work, so that efficiencies are sustained. Work will only be

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Flexibility- Workplace

performed on an company provided laptop computer, via company networks; the Employee is responsible to provide adequate internet capabilities. 14.0


The Employee’s duties, responsibilities, and conditions of employment remain the same as if the Employee were working at the Company’s primary workplace. The Employee will continue to comply with federal and state regulations and Company policies while working at an alternate location. The Employee shall remain subject to all Company disciplinary policies and procedures while performing work at the alternate workplace. 15.0


While working remotely, work hours are consistent with the Employee’s established work schedule. The Employee must be accessible during the specified work hours. FlexPlace schedules require advanced Manager approval. FlexPlace may be for a pre-set, limited duration, and is not intended to be used as a substitute for ongoing child or elder care. Any change to the agreed upon schedule must be approved by appropriate management. An Employee must forgo working remotely if needed onsite and may be called in to meet operational needs. The Manager should provide reasonable notice whenever necessary. Attendance at events such as all employee meetings remains a job requirement. 16.0


Subject to the terms and conditions of policy documents, Workers’ Compensation will continue to exist for the Employee when performing official work duties in the alternate workplace during approved, scheduled work hours. Any work related injuries must be reported to the Employee’s Manager and Human Resources immediately. 17.0


The Employee agrees to designate a separate work space in the alternate workplace for the purposes of working remotely, and will maintain this area in a safe condition, free from hazards and other dangers to the Employee and the Company’s equipment. The Employee agrees that the Company shall have reasonable access to the alternate workplace for the purposes of inspection of the site and retrieval of Company-owned property. An Employee understands that he/she will be liable for injuries or damages to the person or property of third parties or any members of the Employee’s family in the alternate workplace if it is in the Employee’s home. 18.0


The Company will not be liable for damages to the Employee's property resulting from participation in the FlexPlace arrangement. The Employee agrees to hold the Company harmless against any and all claims, excluding Workers' Compensation claims. The Employee accepts responsibility for maintaining the security, condition, and integrity of Company equipment and materials (including but not limited to files, applications, manuals, forms) that are at the alternate workplace. 19.0


The Company will not be responsible for the set-up, operating costs, home maintenance, furniture, or any other incidental costs (e.g., utilities), employeed with the use of the Employee's residence or of the use of an alternate workplace that is not owned or controlled by the Company. 20.0


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Flexibility- Workplace

Employee must have completed satisfactory employment of at least 6 months for consideration for FlexPlace. This is due to the need to clarify job responsibilities, establish relationships with coworkers and customers, and enable Managers to assess suitability for continued employment or independent work. In rare cases, these minimum time requirements may be waived at the discretion of the CEO. The Employee’s duties, responsibilities, and conditions of employment remain the same as if the Employee were working at the Company’s primary workplace. The Employee will continue to comply with federal and state regulations and Company policies while working at an alternate location. The Employee shall remain subject to all Company disciplinary policies and procedures while performing work at the alternate workplace. No Employee engaged in FlexPlace arrangements will be allowed to conduct face-to-face Company-related business at the alternate workplace. 21.0


a. Jobs that require physical presence; b. Employees who require extensive training or supervision, frequent reassurance and positive reinforcement; c. Employees whose performance is not well-above minimum standards – as determined by the Manager and documented in performance reviews; and d. Employees who cannot create or access an alternate workplace, not owned or controlled by the Company that is safe (for them and for Company equipment and files) and free from distractions. 22.0


All FlexTime and FlexPlace work arrangements must conform to the record keeping and provisions of the Electronic Timekeeping Principles. The total work hours recorded for the bi-weekly pay period must sum to 80 hours. As a federal contractor, we are required to record time worked on daily timesheets to ensure accurate collection and billing of labor expenses to our federal clients. The signing, certifying, and approval of hours bi-weekly by our Employees and Managers is done to comply with this requirement. This process is part of our accounting and timekeeping systems that are routinely audited and approved by the federal government. While the Company’s federally approved timekeeping practices require regular, full-time, exempt Employees to record eight or nine hour increments per calendar day, this method of time recording does not jeopardize the exempt status of Employees who are classified as such. Holidays, bereavement, VTO, jury duty and full days of administrative leave, which are in eight hour increments, may require Employees who are on a 9/80 schedule to revert to a 10/80 schedule when two or more of these types of leave days occur in the same pay period, or alternatively, use Paid Time Off to ensure the pay period is 80 hours. Jury duty, VTO and bereavement leave which are less than 8 hours will need to be reviewed on an as needed basis to assure work and time off account for a full, 80-hour pay period. Paid Time Off will be used in hourly increments to cover time not worked.

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Flexibility- Workplace

Travel time to commute from one work location to another is compensable only if it is part of the job; travel from home to work, or vice versa, for FlexPlace is not compensable. 23.0


The Manager has discretion to terminate FlexTime and FlexPlace arrangements. In the event of termination of the FlexTime and/or FlexPlace work arrangements, every effort will be made to provide adequate notice, except as required by business necessity or mutual consent. The advance notice is intended to help the Employee to make any necessary adjustments to return to a normal work schedule. The Company may terminate FlexTime and/or FlexPlace arrangements at any time with or without cause at its convenience, and this termination is final in terms of administrative review. In the event the Employee ceases employment with the Company, or a FlexPlace arrangement is discontinued for any reason, the Employee is responsible to return all Company equipment and supplies to the primary workplace within a mutually agreed upon reasonable time period. Failure to do so will result in actions to recover the unreturned property. All work documents will be returned immediately to the Company.

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TELECOMMUTING AGREEMENT THIS AGREEMENT is made this ___ day of ___________ by and between __________________ (hereinafter “_________”), _______________ and ________________(hereinafter “Employee”). PURPOSE: To establish an agreement to encourage, where appropriate, the use of telecommuting in order to attract and retain a diverse and talented work force, reduce costs, encourage affordable traffic mitigation, improve productivity among employees and better address work and family demands. DEFINITIONS: “Alternate Work Site” means the location where Employee will perform his/her telework, typically an employee’s home. "Telecommuting" or “Telework” means working one or more days each work week from an alternate work site instead of commuting to a _______ work site. "_______ Work Site" or “Traditional Work Site” means the _______ work site where Employee would be required to work if he/she did not telecommute. PROGRAM AGREEMENT AND GOALS: 1. Introduction

1) This telecommuting agreement shall supersede all prior and/or existing telecommuting or telework policies. 2) Telecommuting is not appropriate for all employees. No employee is entitled to, or guaranteed the opportunity to, telecommute. Offering the opportunity to work at home is a management option, based on the discretion of the employee’s immediate supervisor and department director. Either Employee or his/her immediate supervisor may terminate this telecommuting agreement at any time. (Note: If Employee is voluntarily terminating employment, he/she is subject to the HR Termination of Employment policy).

2. Hours of Work & Overtime

3) The alternate work site is________________________________. Days and hours when Employee will normally work at this alternate work site are______________________. Work schedule variations must be reported to your supervisor in advance and receive prior approval. 4) Employee must report time spent in a teleworking status to his/her direct supervisor via time & attendance system. 5) Overtime provisions that apply to employees working at a traditional work site apply to Employee while teleworking. Employee may work overtime only when approved in advance by the supervisor. 3. Employee Performance & Communication

6) Employee is authorized to perform the following duties at this alternate work site: ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ___. The supervisor reserves the right to assign work as necessary at any work site. 7) Recognizing that effective communication is essential for this arrangement to be successful, the following methods and times of communicating are agreed upon: Supervisor may be reached at _______________________ during the hours of _____________ or in case of emergency at ______________ at any hour of the day. If the Supervisor cannot be reached employee may call the Manager at _____________. Employee may be reached by phone __________________ HOME; _________________ CELL during the hours of _______ am to ______ pm. 8) Employee agrees to remain accessible during designated work hours and will promptly respond to supervisor’s communications. 9) Employee is expected to be working at the alternate work site during his/her telecommuting work schedule. Employee shall not conduct any unauthorized external (non-_______) work during his/her telecommuting work schedule. 10) Employee may, at the discretion of his/her immediate supervisor, be called to work at a _______ work site during the regular telecommuting workday to meet workload requirements, attend meetings or perform other duties as assigned by his/her supervisor. Employee may also be required to come to the _______ work site at times that are not within his/her regularly scheduled telecommuting hours with reasonable notice from Employee’s supervisor.

11) Personal leave time that Employee anticipates will occur during his/her normal workday must be arranged in the same manner with his/her immediate supervisor as employees at the _______ work site. For unexpected illnesses or PTO that occurs on a telecommuting workday, Employee must contact his/her immediate supervisor as early as possible. 12) Participation in the program may be terminated if Employee’s performance does not meet the prescribed standards set forth by Employee’s supervisor or if this telecommuting arrangement, in management’s sole discretion, fails to meet organizational needs. 13) Telecommuting shall not be used as a substitute for dependent or childcare. Employees who telecommute are expected to make dependent and child care arrangements during the period they will be working at home. 4. Pay Policies & Benefits

14) Travel Time to/from Work: One of the benefits of telecommuting is that, typically, there is no travel time to/from work. If Employee must start his/her regularly schedule workday at a _______ facility, time traveling from the alternate work site to the _______ facility is not considered travel time for pay purposes. Similarly, if Employee ends his/her regularly scheduled work day at a _______ facility, time traveling from the _______ site to the alternate work site is not considered travel time for pay purposes. Employee is not eligible for mileage reimbursement in these circumstances. 15) Travel During Work Time: Employee may be asked to travel from his/her alternate work site to a _______ work site in the middle of his/her regularly scheduled workday. If this occurs, travel time between the two sites will be considered “job site” to “job site” travel and will be compensated as work time. Employee is eligible for mileage reimbursement in this circumstance. 16) Hourly Pay will be provided to Employee when he/she is conducting official _______ business that takes him/her away from time spent performing regular job duties, provided proper notice/documentation is provided on a Support for Adjustment Form for Payroll (as dictated by supervisor). Examples of when Employee may get Hourly Pay (in addition to when performing normal job duties) include, but are not limited to, when Employee: a) Is required to report to Employee Health; b) Attends Employee Forums; c) Attends meetings called by management; d) Attends other _______ meetings (as approved by supervisor); e) Completes evaluation and/or meets with supervisor regarding evaluation; f) Completes Employee Opinion Survey;

g) Completes _______ Mandatories via Net Learning; h) Deals with HR, administrative or payroll issues; and i) Travels from “job site” to “job site.” 17) There are times when down time will occur due to problems with DSL line, _______ computer equipment, _______ network, _______ application issues or other IT issues. _______ may provide hourly pay for time spent trying to correct these problems, up to one hour, provided proper notice/documentation is provided (as dictated by supervisor). If the problem is going to persist for over one hour, Employee must contact supervisor to discuss the following options: a) come to a _______ work site and finish working the regularly scheduled shift; b) take PTO for the down time; c) work out arrangement to make up for down time during the same work week when the system/equipment is working properly; or take unpaid leave. 18) Employee should immediately report problems with system speed to IT help desk and supervisor. 19) Employee is entitled to the same benefits as employees working at a _______ work site, according to HR policies. 5. Equipment & _______ information

20) Regarding space and equipment purchase, set-up, and maintenance, the following is agreed upon: [______________________ will be purchased by _______ and used for work performed and maintained by _______ Information Services Department. Telecommuting employee will be responsible for picking up equipment from _______ and setting up at workplace. Telecommuting employee will use her own telephone and DSL line.] 21) Employees who telecommute from home are subject to the same internal _______ policies regarding the use of _______ provided equipment (hardware and software) and services as that of employees at a _______ work site. 22) If there is network or equipment failure (software or hardware), Employee must report the failure immediately to his/her supervisor and IT help desk for resolution. Employee must keep supervisor informed of progress towards resolution and estimated duration of down time. If equipment will be down for unknown or extended period of time, supervisor may require employee to report to a _______ work site to continue work. 23) Remote access to _______’s network will be provided to Employee. Applications accessible via remote access are granted at the discretion of Employee’s immediate supervisor in conjunction with IT.

24) _______ may provide Employee with telephone equipment (such as a fax machine) and service on an as-needed basis. _______ will reimburse Employee on a case-by-case basis for business related long-distance telephone expenses incurred at Employee’s alternate work site on telecommuting days if approved in advance by the employee’s immediate supervisor. _______ will not reimburse Employee for local telephone calls or service. 25) General office supplies (such as paper and pens) will be provided by _______ and should be obtained by Employee at a _______ work site. Out-of-pocket expenses for supplies normally available at a _______ work site will not be reimbursed. 26) _______ will provide routine maintenance and repairs for _______ equipment at a _______ location designated by Employee’s supervisor and IT. Routine maintenance and repairs for _______ provided equipment that can not be returned in a cost effective manner to the designated _______ location may be conducted at Employee’s alternate work site if it is approved in advance by the employee’s immediate supervisor and is agreeable with the applicable IT support staff person. 27) Office furniture will not be provided to employees who telecommute. 28) Employee agrees to use _______-owned equipment, records, and materials for purposes of _______ business only. Likewise, only a _______ employee may use any _______-furnished equipment. Employee must protect _______-owned equipment against unauthorized or accidental access, use, modification, destruction, or disclosure. Employee agrees to report to supervisor instances of loss, damage, or unauthorized access at the earliest reasonable opportunity. 29) Employee will maintain the confidentiality of _______ information and documents from all persons or entities, prevent unauthorized access to any _______ system or information from all persons or entities, and dispose of work related documents in a manner that will not jeopardize the interests of _______. Employee acknowledges reviewing the HIPAA policy and understands that he/she must keep any Protected Healthcare Information (PHI) confidential at all times. Breach of patient confidentiality is grounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment. 30) Employee understands that all equipment, records, and materials provided by _______ shall remain the property of _______ and must be returned to _______ as soon as the telecommuting arrangement is no longer valid or the equipment will no longer be needed by Employee to do his/her work. 31) _______ assumes no responsibility for any operating costs associated with Employee using his or her personal equipment and residence as an alternative work site. This includes home maintenance, insurance, and utilities.

6. Safety

32) Employee is responsible for maintaining a safe and ergonomic working environment, including the work area, bathroom, and other areas that may be necessary for working during the telecommuting arrangement. Employee agrees to allow _______ access to the alternate work site during designated working hours to assess safety and security, upon reasonable notice. Employee must allow home office inspections by _______ if a job-related incident, accident or injury has occurred. 33) Employee may be covered by worker’s compensation for job-related injuries occurring at the alternate work site during his/her defined work period. Worker’s compensation will not apply to non-job-related injuries that occur at the alternate work site. Employee remains responsible for injuries to third parties and/or members of Employee’s family at the alternate work site. _______ will not be responsible for injuries to third parties or members of Employee’s family that occur at the alternate work site. 34) In the event of a job-related incident, accident or injury during telecommuting hours, Employee shall report the incident to his/her supervisor as soon as possible and follow established HR procedures to report and investigate workplace incidents, accidents or injuries, including filling out an online SREO. 35) Employees shall not hold business meetings with internal or external clients, customers or colleagues at the alternate work site. Supervisor must approve any exceptions to this rule in advance of meeting. Employee understands that _______ policies and procedures should be followed when working at the alternate work site and that all obligations, responsibilities, terms and conditions of employment with _______ remain unchanged except those obligations and responsibilities specifically addressed in this agreement. THIS AGREEMENT DOES NOT MODIFY THE AT-WILL NATURE OF EMPLOYMENT. Employee hereby affirms via signature that he/she has read this Telecommuting Agreement, and understands and agrees to all of its provisions. BY EMPLOYEE: ______________________________________________________________________ __Employee’s Signature and Date


Manager/Supervisor’s Signature and Date

BY _______: ______________________________________________________________________ __VP’s Signature and Date


Telecommuting Agreement I. General Work Arrangement 1. This is an agreement between [Department Name] (“the department”) and [Employee’s Name] (“Employee”) to establish the terms and conditions for performing work at an alternate work site on a regular basis (e.g., on the same day every week, or on some routine basis). 2. This agreement begins on [Date] and continues until [Date]. This agreement will be reviewed at least annually. This agreement may be modified or cancelled with seven (7) calendar days written notice. The following conditions apply: a. Employee’s telecommuting schedule is [specify days and hours. If it varies, please include those details]. b. Employee’s regular telecommuting site location is [location]. c. Employee’s regular telecommuting phone number is [telephone number]. 3. While telecommuting, Employee will: a. remain accessible during the telecommute work schedule; b. check in with the supervisor to discuss status and open issues; c. be available for teleconferences, scheduled on an as-needed basis; d. be available to come into the office if a business need arises; e. request supervisor approval in advance of working any overtime hours (if employee is non-exempt); and f. request supervisor approval to use vacation, sick, or other leave in the same manner as when working at Employee’s regular work location. 4. Employee’s duties, obligations, responsibilities, and conditions of employment with the _______ remain unchanged except those obligations and responsibilities specifically addressed in this agreement. Job responsibilities, standards of performance, and performance appraisals remain the same as when working at the regular _______ work site. The supervisor reserves the right to assign work as necessary at any work site. 5. The parties acknowledge that this agreement may be evaluated on an ongoing basis to ensure that Employee’s work quality, efficiency, and productivity are not compromised by the telecommuting arrangement described herein. II. Safety & Equipment; Information Security 1. Employee agrees to maintain a safe, secure, and ergonomic work environment and to report work-related injuries to Employee’s supervisor at the earliest reasonable opportunity.

Employee agrees to hold the _______ harmless for injury to others at the alternate work site. Regarding space and equipment purchase, set-up, and maintenance for telecommuting purposes: a. Employee is responsible for providing space, telephone, printing, networking and/or Internet capabilities at the telecommute location, and shall not be reimbursed by the employer for these or related expenses. Internet access must be via DSL, Cable Modem, or an equivalent bandwidth network. b. Employee agrees to protect _______-owned equipment, records, and materials from unauthorized or accidental access, use, modification, destruction, or disclosure. The precautions described in this agreement apply regardless of the storage media on which information is maintained, the locations where the information is stored, the systems used to process the information, or the process by which the information is stored. c. Employee agrees to report to Employee’s supervisor any incidents of loss, damage, or unauthorized access at the earliest reasonable opportunity. d. Employee understands that all equipment, records, and materials provided by the _______ shall remain the property of the _______. 2. Employee understands and agrees that Employee’s personal vehicle may not be used for _______ business unless specifically authorized in writing by Employee’s supervisor in advance of such use. 3. With reasonable notice and at a mutually agreed upon time, the _______ may make on-site visits to Employee’s telecommute location to ensure that the designated work space is safe and free from hazards, provides adequate protection and security of _______ property, and to maintain, repair, inspect, or retrieve _______ property. 4. Employee agrees to return _______-owned equipment, records, and materials within ___ days of termination of this agreement. Within ___ days of written notice, Employee must return _______-owned equipment for inspection, repair, replacement, or repossession. 5. Employee understands that Employee is responsible for tax consequences, if any, of this arrangement, and for conformance to any local zoning regulations. I hereby affirm by my signature that I have read this Telecommuting Agreement and understand and agree to all of its provisions. ________________________________________ [Insert Employee’s Name], Employee

________________________ Date

________________________________________ [Insert Supervisor’s Name], Supervisor

________________________ Date

________________________________________ [Insert Department Head’s Name], [Insert title]

________________________ Date

Please send this signed agreement to your HR Partner for placement in Employee’s personnel file. The employee and the supervisor should each keep a copy of this agreement for future reference.


TELECOMMUTING AGREEMENT _______ (the “Company”) and ________________________ (“Employee”) enter into the following agreement (“Agreement”) effective as of __________________ (the “Effective Date”), to establish the terms, conditions, and guidelines under which Employee will carry out his or her job responsibilities from home or another remote work location by way of telecommuting. Employee understands that telecommuting is a cooperative arrangement between the Company and Employee and not a benefit or entitlement associated with employment at the Company. 1. Acknowledgment. Employee acknowledges that, prior to entering into this Agreement, Employee made a request for telecommuting. Employee further acknowledges that the Company reserves the right to cancel this Agreement at any time. 2. Duration of Agreement. This Agreement shall become effective on the Effective Date, and may be terminated by the Company at any time and for any reason. The Agreement may be terminated by Employee with 30 days’ written notice. This Agreement shall also automatically terminate upon Employee’s discharge from the Company. 3. At-Will Employment. This document does not constitute a contract of employment, either expressed or implied, for a specific period of time. Employee’s employment with the Company shall remain at all times at-will in nature. 4. Job Duties. Employee’s job title, seniority, reporting responsibilities, and essential job functions shall remain unchanged as a result of this Agreement. To facilitate this telecommuting arrangement, however, the Company may require additional duties of the Employee, including but not limited to the completion of periodic written reports regarding Employee’s work progress. Employee shall remain obligated to comply with all the Company policies and procedures and any other written agreements Employee has executed in connection with his or her employment at the Company. 5. Compensation. Employee’s work status (i.e., exempt or non-exempt) shall not be affected by this Agreement. Employee will continue to receive compensation at the same rates and in the same manner as prior to this telecommuting arrangement. 6. Work Location. For purposes of this telecommuting arrangement, Employee’s primary work location shall be the location and work area specified on the attached Exhibit 1, which is expressly incorporated into this Agreement. Unless approved in advance by Employee’s supervisor, Employee agrees to limit the performance of his or her duties to this location and work area. Failure to do so may result in termination of this Agreement and/or other disciplinary action, up to and including discharge from employment. Notwithstanding the

above, within its discretion and on any given day(s), the Company reserves the right to require Employee to report to the Company’s offices to attend meetings or to carry out particular job duties or assignments. Unless otherwise provided in paragraph 7 below, Employee is responsible for all costs associated with establishing and maintaining his or her location and work area. 7. Work Schedule. Employee’s standard work hours are to follow the firm’s typical office hours. Employee acknowledges that compliance with this schedule is necessary to ensure maximum accessibility necessary to meet business objectives and, should the time zone of the telecommute site vary from that of customers, potential customers, vendors or the Company, Employee must be available during the standard work hours as needed. Failure to adhere to this schedule may result in termination of this Agreement and/or other disciplinary action, up to and including discharge from employment. Requests for leave (i.e., sick time, vacation, bereavement, etc.) shall be handled in accordance with the Company’s regular policies and procedures and in the same manner as if Employee was working at the Company’s offices, including prior notification to the Company. 8. Equipment. To facilitate this telecommuting arrangement and so that Employee can perform his or her job responsibilities, the Company will provide Employee with certain equipment and/or supplies listed on the attached Exhibit 1, which is expressly incorporated into this Agreement. Employee agrees to provide suitable space to house this equipment and supplies in an environment that is safe and free from hazards and dangers to both persons and to the equipment and supplies themselves. The equipment and supplies provided by the Company are provided for the sole and exclusive use of Employee and shall not be utilized by any other person not employed by the Company. Employee agrees to be responsible at all times for the condition of the equipment and supplies and, except for normal wear and tear, shall be liable for any damages caused by unauthorized use or abuse of such equipment and/or supplies. Employee shall promptly notify the Company in the event of any malfunction or failure of the Company-provided equipment or supplies. In the event of such malfunction or failure, the Company may, in its sole discretion, either supply Employee with the temporary use of other equipment or supplies, or it may require Employee to work out of the Company’s offices. The equipment and supplies provided by the Company shall remain at all times the property of the Company and shall be returned promptly to the Company upon termination of this Agreement or upon request by the Company. Employee expressly agrees to reimburse the Company for the value of any equipment or supplies not returned, and the Company may use any available legal means to obtain such reimbursement. 9. Reimbursement of Expenses. The Company will reimburse Employee only for those specific telecommuting costs identified on the attached Exhibit 2, which is expressly incorporated into this Agreement. Employee shall continue to be eligible for any businessrelated non-telecommuting costs in accordance with the Company’s standard policies and procedures regarding reimbursements. Unless expressly approved in advance by the Employee’s

supervisor, any expenses incurred by Employee in connection with travel between Employee’s work location and the Company’s offices are not reimbursable expenses. The reimbursement of any telecommuting or non-telecommuting expenses is subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Company’s policies and procedures regarding reimbursements. 10. Confidential Information. Employee acknowledges that he or she is bound by the Company’s policies and procedures regarding proprietary confidential information and that this Agreement does not change or modify Employee’s obligations under these policies and procedures or under the confidentiality agreement Employee signed. Therefore, Employee agrees to take all necessary safeguards to protect the Company’s proprietary and confidential information so that such information is not accessed by unauthorized individuals as a result of this telecommuting arrangement. With prior supervisory approval, telecommuting employees may be dealing with proprietary and business sensitive information at their remote offices. Accordingly, telecommuting employees must take steps to prevent access to this information by unauthorized individuals, including family members and friends: •

All computer and security standard operating procedures and Company Policies and Procedures must be followed.

All sensitive information should be put away when it is not in use.

Locked file drawers must be used for all sensitive information.

Sensitive papers should be destroyed/shredded before disposing of them.

The firm discourages Employee from working on files locally to reduce the risk of loss. Where files (not emails/Outlook) are stored locally, Employee should notify the IT department so that Scheduled backups for data stored on a local computer disk can be established and maintained. If data are stored on a network file server, no additional backups are required.

Virus protection must be established and maintained for your computer in accordance with Company policy.

Company-supplied computer or other equipment may not be used by non-Company personnel under any circumstances.

Employee is not to use a personal computer or storage device for Company data or work.

With prior notification the Company reserves the right to inspect any telecommuting workspace for safety and security purposes, as well as for audit purposes to determine compliance with the policy and the agreement. Telecommuting employees are responsible for certifying that their workspace meets and maintains all legal and procedural criteria.

11. Safety. As a condition precedent to this Agreement, Employee certifies that the location and work area listed in Exhibit 1 is safe for work. Employee agrees to maintain this location and work area so that it is free of dangers and safety hazards at all times. In addition, Employee agrees at all times to use and maintain all the Company-provided equipment and supplies in a safe and appropriate manner. The Company reserves the right to inspect Employee’s location and work area at any time to ensure that these safety standards are being met, and Employee expressly consents to such inspection. Reasonable efforts will be made to schedule such visits in advance. 12. Worker’s Compensation. Employee shall be covered under the Company’s worker’s compensation insurance for all work-related injuries occurring in the scope of employment. Employee agrees to promptly report any work-related injuries to his or her Supervisor just as if Employee had been working out of the Company’s offices. Employee agrees that it may be necessary for a Company representative to visit Employee’s work location to investigate an injury report, and Employee expressly consents to such an onsite investigation. The Company assumes no liability for any injuries that arise outside the scope of Employee’s employment. 13. Insurance and Liability. The Company shall not be liable for damages to Employee’s own property that results from this telecommuting arrangement. 14. Tax and Other Implications. The Company makes no representations about, and assumes no liability for, the personal tax, insurance, and/or zoning implications of this telecommuting arrangement. It is Employee’s obligation to address these issues on his or her own. 15. Choice of Law. This Agreement shall be construed and governed in accordance with the laws of the State of Georgia. 16. Severability. The invalidity or non-enforceability of any provision of this Agreement shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision. 17. Entire Agreement. This Agreement contains the entire understanding of the parties with respect to the subject matter hereof and supersedes all prior arrangements, agreements, and understandings. Notwithstanding the above, any agreement(s) with respect to confidential and/or proprietary information or Employment Agreement that Employee has previously executed shall remain in full force and shall not in any way be affected by this Agreement.

__________________________________ Employee

Date: _____________________

__________________________________ Supervisor/ Manager

Date: _____________________

EXHIBIT 1 EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES PROVIDED BY _______ To facilitate this telecommuting arrangement, the Company will provide Employee with the following equipment and/or supplies to help assist with the performance of Employee’s job:





















EXHIBIT 2 REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES The following telecommuting costs have been expressly approved by the Company and shall be reimbursed to Employee, provided Employee adheres to all applicable the Company policies and procedures regarding expense reimbursements: 1.





















TELECOMMUTING POLICY The company considers telecommuting to be a viable alternative work arrangement in cases where individual, job and supervisor characteristics are best suited to such an arrangement. Telecommuting allows an employee to work at home, on the road, or in a satellite location for all or part of his/her regular workweek. Telecommuting is a voluntary work alternative that may be appropriate for some employees and some jobs. It is not an entitlement; it is not a company-wide benefit; and it in no way changes the terms and conditions of employment with the company. Procedure: 1. Either an employee, an employee’s team leader or an employee’s director can suggest telecommuting as a possible work arrangement. 2. Exempt employees may request a telecommuting arrangement at any time. Non-exempt employees requesting telecommuting arrangements must have been employed with the company for a minimum of nine (9) months of continuous, regular employment, must have been employed in the specific position for which telecommuting is sought for a minimum of six (6) months of continuous, regular employment and must have exhibited above average performance, in accordance with the company's performance appraisal process. 3. Any telecommuting arrangement made will be on a trial basis for the first three (3) months, and may be discontinued, at will, at any time at the request of either the telecommuter or the company. 4. The company will determine, with information supplied by the employee and the employee’s team leader, the appropriate equipment needs (including hardware, software, modems, phone and data lines, facsimile equipment or software, photocopiers, etc.) for each telecommuting arrangement on a case-by-case basis. Equipment supplied by the company will be maintained by the company. Equipment supplied by the employee, if deemed appropriate by the company, will be maintained by the employee. The company accepts no responsibility for damage or repairs to employee-owned equipment. The company reserves the right to make determinations as to appropriate equipment, subject to change at any time. The telecommuter should sign an inventory of all office property and agrees to take appropriate action to protect the items from damage or theft. Upon termination of employment all company property will be returned to the company, unless other arrangements have been made.

5. Consistent with the company's expectations of information asset security for employees working at the office full-time, telecommuting employees will be expected to ensure the protection of proprietary company and customer information accessible from their home office. Steps include, but are not limited to, use of locked file cabinets, disk boxes and desks, regular password maintenance, and any other steps appropriate for the job and the environment. 6. The employee will establish an appropriate work environment within his/her home for work purposes. The company will not be responsible for costs associated with initial setup of the employee's home office such as remodeling, furniture or lighting, nor for repairs or modifications to the home office space. 7. Injuries sustained by the employee while at his/her home work location and in conjunction with his/her regular work duties are normally covered by the company's workers' compensation policy. Telecommuting employees are responsible for notifying the company of such injuries in accordance with the company worker's compensation procedures. The employee is liable for any injuries sustained by visitors to the work site. 8. The company will supply the employee with appropriate office supplies (pens, paper, etc.) for successful completion of job responsibilities. The company will also reimburse the employee for all other business-related expenses such as phone calls, internet connection, shipping costs, etc. that are reasonably incurred in accordance with job responsibilities. 9. The employee and the employee’s team leader will agree on the number of days of telecommuting allowed each week, the work schedule the employee will customarily maintain, and the manner and frequency of communication. The employee agrees to be accessible by phone or modem within a reasonable time period during the agreed upon work schedule. 10. Telecommuting employees who are not exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act will be required to record all hours worked in a manner designated by the company. Telecommuting employees will be held to a higher standard of compliance than office-based employees due to the nature of the work arrangement. Hours worked in excess of those specified per work week, in accordance with state and federal requirements, will require the advance approval of the employee’s team leader. Failure to comply with this requirement can result in the immediate cessation of the telecommuting agreement. 11. Before entering into any telecommuting agreement, the employee and the employee’s team leader, with the assistance of the human resource department, will evaluate the suitability of such an arrangement paying particular attention to the following areas:

a. Employee Suitability - the employee and the employee’s team leader will assess the needs and work habits of the employee, compared to traits customarily recognized as appropriate for successful telecommuters. b. Job Responsibilities - the employee and the employee’s team leader will discuss the job responsibilities and determine if the job is appropriate for a telecommuting arrangement. c. Equipment needs, work space design considerations and scheduling issues.



Telecommuting Policy

Page 1 of

APPLICABILITY: This policy applies to __________. POLICY:

For some positions within _______, working away from the office, or telecommuting, may be possible. Telecommuting can be a privilege, or a necessity, or a combination of both, depending on the circumstances. Teammates who work from home (telecommuters) will be subject to additional standards and requirements.

PURPOSE: This policy defines telecommuting as a voluntary work arrangement between leaders and a teammate, not an entitlement, and is based on the needs of the job, work group and organization. The position’s job duties, oblilgations and responsibilities will remain unchanged. This arrangement is not an organization-wide benefit, and in no way changes the terms and conditions of employment with _______________________.

DEFINITIONS: • Telecommuting: A work arrangement in which a leader directs a teammate to perform their usual job duties for their entire work schedule at location not owned or leased by _______. •

Telecommuting Agreement: A signed written agreement, in a form approved by _______ which governs the obligations while working at an alternative work location.

Flexible Work Arrangement: A teammate-initiated and voluntary alternative work arrangement that includes, but is not limited to, alternative/flexible schedules, remote work and intermittent telecommuting.

Assigned Workplace: An office or workspace provided by _______ where the teammate will usually and customarily work. Where telecommuting is directed by _______, the Assigned Workplace is typically the teammate’s home.

Alternative Work Location: A work site, other than the teammate’s Assigned Workplace, which includes, but is not limited to, a teammate’s home, temporary 1

lodging during travel, or in a satellite location where a teammate may travel for business purposes. GENERAL PROCEDURES • Teammates are responsible to adhere to all _______ Policies during telecommuting or flexible work arrangements. • Personal disruptions such as non-business phone calls and visitors should be kept to a minimum. Disruptive or unprofessional sounds (voices, radio, TV, pets, etc.) during phone calls may be grounds for disciplinary action. • Teammates are responsible to maintain a proper work environment insofar as dependent care arrangements are concerned. Telecommuting and/or flexible work arrangements are not a substitute for dependent child care or adult care. In telecommuting arrangements, children under the age of 11 must be under the care of an individual other than the teammate while the teammate is working from home. • Teammates must adhere to the Professional Standards of Appearance requirement during all work hours. • Telecommuters are covered by _______ Adverse Weather Policy, but may be required to work during periods of adverse weather unless there are childcare issues, adult care issues, system issues or other issues that would negatively impact productivity. • Teammates must adhere to all Privacy and HIPAA policy and procedures, including but not limited to: o Travelling with documents o Storing document o Discussing PHI when someone else is home

TELECOMMUTING ARRANGEMENTS Requirements and Approval • Teammate must be in good standing (rated a 3.0 or higher on last performance evaluation and no documented Corrective Action Conference Records over prior 6 months) and must have the approval of leader/director and VP. • Decisions to approve requests will be made in consult with department leadership, Information Services, and/or Human Resources. • Teammate must live within the state of South Carolina. • Teammate must sign the Telecommuting Agreement, which outlines all terms of the arrangement. _______ and Teammate Responsibilities Where _______ directs full-time telecommuting, a teammate does not typically have a work station available on an _______ campus. As such, _______ provides the necessary items for regular and dependable system access, including: 2

• • • • •

Cost of initial phone and/or cable installation in the teammate’s home. Cost of relocation for phone and/or cable once every 2 years. Monthly cost of cable and/or phone service and associated charges. PC, printer, telephone equipment and cable modems, software, connectivity and IS support. Office supplies (paper, printer cartridges, etc.) normally used for work.

The basic necessities of the location must be maintained by the teammate, including suitable workspace that will provide privacy, such as a guest room or home office (e.g. not the kitchen table). Where appropriate, a teammate may also be required to have available minimum of two locking drawers (desk or file cabinet) to secure HIPAA sensitive documents. Teammates may be required to work from an _______ office whenever circumstances prevent them from working at home or at any teammate leadership prescribes. FLEXIBLE WORK ARRANGEMENTS (FWA) Requirements and Approval • Teammate must be in good standing (rated a 3.0 or higher on last performance evaluation and no documented Corrective Action Conference Records over prior 6 months) and must have the approval of leader/director and VP. • Decisions to approve requests will be made in consult with department leadership, Information Services, and/or Human Resources. • Terms of the FWA must be requested and approved prior to the commencement of the arrangement. _______ and Teammate Responsibilities Teammates engaging in a FWA, where _______ provides a work station on an _______ campus, are responsible to provide items necessary to work remotely, including but not limited to, internet and phone connections. Additional responsibilities of _______ or the teammate should be outlined in the FWA terms.

Termination of Agreements A telecommuting agreement or FWA does not constitute a contract of employment. Employment is at-will and may be terminated at any time and for any reason. _______ reserves the right to terminate a telecommuting agreement or FWA as business needs indicate.


Appendix •

SHRM + Articles

Secrets to a Robust Telework Program: The 'STIR' Model By Robin Rodensky, Jan Rybeck, Heather Johnson and Margaret Rollins, ICF International January 25, 2010

There are dozens of benefits to creating a flexible workplace and supporting telework programs, but this venture is not free from challenges. Below, we present the Strategize, Transform, Implement, Recalibrate (STIR) model developed by ICF International to help businesses design and execute successful programs customized to their needs.

State of Telework Today—What's Holding Us Back? The push for flexible work environments continues to gain momentum as employers look for ways to to attract and retain a wider pool of qualified employees, reduce stress and increase employee morale—and lower real estate and overhead costs. So, why is it that more businesses are not capitalizing on this venture and others have yet to recognize the targeted return on investment? In addition to common concerns about the suitability of information technology (IT) systems, key areas of resistance to the widespread adoption of telework include reactions such as these: "As a supervisor, how can I be sure that my employees are conducting their assignments effectively if I cannot stop by to talk to them about their progress and answer questions?” “As a teleworker, how do I ensure that I am not overlooked for assignments or passed over for promotions because I am not within my supervisor’s line of sight?” “My work team likes to collaborate to brainstorm solutions to difficult problems, share lessons learned, and problem-solve creatively. How can we do that effectively if the team is working remotely?”

The STIR model provides a systematic way to incorporate best practices to overcoming these concerns and guide organizations through the process of building successful, sustainable and customized telework programs that meet the demands of a changing workplace.

The STIR Model The fundamental tenet of the STIR model is that telework is more than a transition to employees working off-site; it is a transformation to a better way of doing business. Step One: Strategize Demonstrating a compelling reason to establish a strong telework program will help to accelerate its acceptance and sustain the program. Each organization should consider carefully how telework can be a key element of its strategy. For some, the drivers for a robust telework program are a lack of office space or a need to reduce operating costs. For others, telework is a powerful recruitment and retention tool, particularly for those with high recruitment targets or long apprenticeship periods, or as a means to strengthen energy efficiency and environmental sustainability strategies. Tip: Organizations should communicate widely the strategic value and successes of a robust telework program via their intranet, brochures, job aids, frequently asked questions (FAQs) and even on the telework application itself. Ensuring that everyone in the organization understands the “big pictureâ€? for adopting telework will facilitate greater acceptance and sustainability. Step Two: Transform Successful telework programs require all employees to communicate differently to ensure that interpersonal relationships and partnerships remain strong and sustainable. Innovative ways for holding productive brainstorming sessions and other meetings, duplicating hallway and water cooler chat, and fostering teambuilding and collaboration need to be developed to maintain highly productive work teams. Supervisors who rely on personal observations as a way to evaluate employee performance will need to use other measures of performance. Once businesses recognize that telework requires a significant transformation, they can put in place change management strategies that include: 

Assessing the readiness of employees and the organization critically for this new way of doing business (e.g., suitability of infrastructure, business processes/policies, and the impact of the change on organizational culture).


Identifying concerns of affected groups and addressing these in meaningful ways.


Using clear and regular communications that explain strategy, acknowledge challenges openly and celebrate telework successes.

Tip: As employees begin to transition to a telework environment, increase significantly internal and external communications, using a variety of multimedia techniques, to build credibility and increase trust during this time of change and uncertainty. Acknowledge openly that the organization is undergoing a transformation and that there will be challenges along the way. Seek suggestions from employees regularly. Step Three: Implement Technology is certainly an essential component of a telework program. Without the technological advances of the past 20 years, telework on any scale would not even be possible, let alone desirable. Laptop computers, e-mail, SharePoint sites, communities of practice, LiveMeeting capability, and other technology tools allow teleworkers to communicate and share information with colleagues across the country and around the globe. However without supporting activities, technology is unlikely to yield the desired benefits. These activities include: Establish a senior telework coordinator as a strategic leadership position. Designating a senior member of the leadership team as a strategic telework coordinator and partnering this person with designated liaisons throughout the organization will help ensure a smooth program rollout. The organization’s telework coordinator position should be full time and include the responsibility and authority to support program design, develop supporting policies and procedures, provide technical assistance and conduct evaluations. Tip: Designate a network of telework coordinators who represent business units or departments to work closely with the senior telework coordinator in developing policies, sharing best practices and identifying key challenges. Establish telework policies and procedures. A clear telework policy that provides an overarching framework with parameters, standards, definitions, rules and clear expectations for employees and supervisors lays the groundwork for operational consistency throughout the business. Many successful programs establish policies and procedures that are specific to each department or business unit to further customize the telework initiative for each work group. Tip: Involve key internal and external stakeholders in developing the telework policy, key decisions and operating procedures. Gaining stakeholder buy-in from the outset will help foster trust and develop strong working relationships.

Assess eligibility for telework at a task level. In determining telework eligibility, look at the tasks that employees accomplish as part of their job rather than the position as a whole. For example, while it might seem counterintuitive to think that someone serving in a customer service or administrative assistant function could telework, these employees might be able to perform select tasks more effectively and efficiently, such as required paperwork, while teleworking. Tip: If there are multiple employees serving in customer service or administrative positions, it might be possible to rotate schedules and the timing of tasks to accommodate telework one day per week. Provide employees and supervisors with training and support. Maintaining strong performance in a telework environment requires employees and their supervisors to be well trained not only on their organization’s telework policy, criteria for eligibility, roles and responsibilities, and expectations for maintaining high performance, but also on the support that is available to help them develop new ways to collaborate and communicate. Useful approaches for addressing topics and sharing best practices include:    

Customized instructor-led and online training with small-group exercises. Job aids such as FAQ documents. Intranet pages dedicated to telework, including blogs. Communities-of-practice groups.

Provide an on-call coach or support group. Other teleworkers, managers and colleagues can provide a real-time mechanism for addressing emerging issues. Tip: Remote workers can feel disconnected from their employer and colleagues without a good place to call “home” when they come into the office. Establish regular hotel offices for visiting teleworkers and encourage teleworkers to use their in-office time to work with supervisors, managers or other employees on tasks that need to be conducted in person, and to reinforce social networks. Establish pilot programs to “test-run” telework program implementation. For organizations where telework represents a significant shift, creating a pilot program can help minimize risks to performance. Use the pilot program to develop metrics that look at how telework is affecting organizational performance. Tip: Use performance metrics established during the pilot to advertise successes, communicate lessons learned and continue to build acceptance for telework throughout the organization.

Step Four: Recalibrate Even the most successful telework program must be examined and adjusted periodically to reflect changes in organizational goals, the workforce, technology and the external environment, and to ensure that it is sustainable. Performance metrics—such as customer satisfaction indices, recruitment/retention metrics and real estate costs per employee—can be used to measure the real impacts of telework, cultivate greater senior leadership support, reinforce views that telework results in a positive return on investment and target areas where further investments could contribute to even greater returns. Tip: Determine methods for evaluating the telework program at the outset, and conduct evaluations regularly to build a bank of performance metrics and ensure that changes are made as needed to adapt to new situations. Robin Rodensky; Jan Rybeck, CMC, PCC; Heather Johnson and Margaret Rollins are human capital consultants with ICF International, which partners with government and commercial clients to deliver professional services and technology solutions. This article is adapted from a white paper written by the authors with other telework experts and thought leaders from ICF’s Human Capital Solutions (HCS) group, comprising more than 120 human capital consultants. Twenty percent of ICF’s HCS group telework full time, while an additional 25 percent regularly work from home or remote locations. For more information or to request the full-length white paper, contact Robin Rodensky at

'Best Benefits' Include Telecommuting Fortune magazine's 2010 Best Companies to Work for list includes telecommuting among the high-value benefits that separate the best from the rest. Out of the 100 Best Companies named, 84 allow employees to telecommute or work at home at least 20 percent of the time. The Best Companies with the highest percentage of telecommuters were: Company

% of regular telecommuters





Brocade Communications Systems








S. C. Johnson & Son


American Fidelity Assurance Co.




Shared Technologies



Related Articles •

Flexible Work Might Improve Employees' Health, SHRM Online Benefits Discipline, March 2010

Make Employees a Nonmonetary Offer They Can't Refuse, SHRM Managing Smart, January 2010 Done Right, Telework Ups Productivity, Job Satisfaction, SHRM Online Technology Discipline, November 2009 Telecommuting Improves Employee Health, Productivity,SHRM Online Benefits Discipline, October 2008

• •

Related SHRM Resources •

Making Telecommuting Work: Training for Supervisors, SHRM Templates and Tools

Flextime: Telecommuting Application, SHRM Templates and Tools Telecommuting Office Guidelines, SHRM Templates and Tools Telecommuting: How Our Plan Works, SHRM Templates and Tools

• •

2017 State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Employee Workforce Presented by

Key Findings Telecommuting Demographics Regular telecommuting grew 115% in the past decade, nearly 10 times faster than the rest of the workforce. The average annual income for most telecommuters is $4,000 higher than that of nontelecommuters. The percent of women and men who telecommute is about equal. Half of telecommuters are 45 years of age or older, compared to just 41% of the overall workforce. Telecommuters are, on average, more highly educated than other employees. Approximately 53% have at least a bachelor’s degree, compared to 37% of non-telecommuters. Telecommuting is most common in Management occupations, but employees in Computer, Mathematical, and Military occupations work at home much more frequently than their peers. While the Professional, ScientiďŹ c, and Technical Services industry has the highest percentage of telecommuters relative to its share of the workforce, the Management of Companies and Agriculture industries top the list because of an administrative job component. In more than half of the top U.S. metros, telecommuting exceeds public transportation as the commute option of choice. It has grown far faster than any other commute mode.

Telecommuting Geography Telecommuting grew the most in Chattanooga, TN (325% increase), Bremerton-Silverdale, WA (273%), and Youngstown, OH (246%). Telecommuting is most prevalent in Boulder, CO (8.5%), Corvallis, OR (6.9%), and Raleigh, NC (6.2%). Telecommuting is least prevalent in Corpus Christi, TX (1.3%), Bloomington, IN (1.3%), and Lafayette, LA (1.0%).


Access to Telecommuting Forty percent more U.S. employers offered flexible workplace options than they did in 2010. Still, only 7% make it available to most of their employees. Larger companies are most likely to offer telecommuting options to most of their employees. New England and Mid-Atlantic region employers are the most likely to offer telecommuting options. Full-time employees are four times more likely to have work-at-home options than part-time employees. Non-union employees are twice as likely to have access to telecommuting, but union employee access is growing rapidly.

Impact of Telecommuting Employers can save over $11,000 per half-time telecommuter per year. Across the existing work-at-home population, that potentially adds up to $44 billion in savings. If the telecommuting workforce expanded to include those who could and wanted to work from home, the potential employer savings could approach $690 million a year. Existing telecommuters reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of taking over 600,000 cars off the road for a year. If the work-at-home workforce expanded to include those who could and wanted to telecommute half of the time, the GHG savings would equate to taking 10 million cars off the road. Half-time telecommuters gain back 11 days a year—time they would have otherwise spent commuting.

To request any additional information about this report, please contact: Kathy Gardner at kgardner@ or Kate Lister at


Contents Telecommuting Demographics....................................................07 By income......................................................................................08 By gender......................................................................................09 By age............................................................................................10 By education.................................................................................11 By occupation...............................................................................12 By industry....................................................................................13 By transport..................................................................................14 Telecommuting Geography .......................................................15 Highest concentration................................................................15 Lowest concentration.................................................................15 Large metro areas......................................................................16 Growth by metro........................................................................17 Access to Telecommuting Options...........................................18 By total workforce......................................................................18 By company size.........................................................................19 By geography..............................................................................19 By part-time/full-time status.....................................................20 By union status...........................................................................20 Impact of Telecommuting..........................................................21 On environment/community.....................................................23 On employees..............................................................................24

Concluding Thoughts....................................................................25 About..............................................................................................27


Important Information About the Data in This Report Thanks to advances in technology, much of what employees used to do at an office now can be done just about anywhere. And that’s what they’re doing. We can all see it happening—more and more employees working at home, in coffee shops, on the train, and at co-working spaces. But, surprisingly, almost no one is tracking this important change in the ways employees in the U.S. work. Research repeatedly shows that offices around the globe sit empty half of the time, yet we know little about where the employees that used to occupy them have gone. Who are they? What kind of work do they do? What kind of companies do they work for? Those are the questions this 2017 State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Employee Workforce report sets out to answer.

Parameters of This Report Every year, the U.S. Census Bureau’s America Community Survey (ACS) asks members of 3.5 million households questions about where they work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also conducts an annual nationwide survey, but both organizations only release a few basic findings in a media-friendly format. The rest of the details are buried in databases only researchers, such as Global Workplace Analytics, take the time to download and understand. This report focuses solely on full-time employees who answered “worked at home” to the ACS question, “What was your primary means of transportation to work during the survey week?” This report does not include the self-employed (such as freelancers), employees who split their day between an office and home, those who work extra hours at home, or those who work at home less than half the time. Keep in mind as you read this report that the entire work-at-home employee population is 10 to 15 times larger than those who do so half-time or more. Unfortunately, no government or private sector source produces robust data on those less frequent telecommuters. Nevertheless, business and community leaders can learn much about what is possible from the most frequent telecommuters. If you’re a business leader, the information in this report will help you how to consider: Better assessing your real estate needs Increasing workspace efficiency, and reducing real estate overhead Evaluating your IT readiness and the communications, collaboration, and technology needs of your workforce Effectively integrating employee mobility into hiring, training, and management practices Developing and marketing products and services that support remote work Better addressing the special needs of the disabled, of military families, and of caregivers


If you’re a community or public sector leader, this information will help you how to consider: Solving regional issues such as outbound workforce migrations, talent shortages, and labor force mismatches Understanding the ROI of broadband investments Reducing the offshoring of jobs Encouraging populations to work and shop where they live Establishing laws to encourage home-based work and abolish those that discourage it Understanding the role telecommuting could play in reducing traffic congestion, conserving energy, and reducing pollution Increasing labor productivity Global Workplace Analytics has been helping corporate and community leaders understand the business case for emerging workplace trends for over 10 years. Its last public report on the trends was released in 2011. FlexJobs has been helping people find flexible work since 2007.


Telecommuting Demographics Total Workforce and Class of Worker Nearly 4 million U.S. employees worked from home at least half of the time in 2015. That represents about 3% of U.S. workforce—a 115% increase since 2005. During the same period, the non-telecommuter population grew by less than 12%.

Regular telecommuting grew 115% in the past decade, nearly 10 times faster than the rest of the workforce.

% growth since 2005

Telecommuting growth since 2005 150%

Source: Special analysis of U.S. Census data conducted for FlexJobs by Global Workplace Analytics

100% 50% 0%

55% 26% 4%










36% 5%







2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Non-telecommuters


The federal government and for-profit companies have the highest percentage of telecommuters (3.1% of their workforce in each case). Local governments lag the furthest behind (for-profit companies, federal government, non-profit companies, state government) with only 1.4% participation. Obviously, technological advances played a big role in making it easy to work wherever and whenever. It’s hard to believe, but way back in 2005, LinkedIn was in its infancy, Facebook was still gestating, and the iPhone had not yet been conceived. These days, that phone and devices like it, high-speed broadband, and cloudbased storage and software are as essential to business success as telephone PBX systems were back in the day. While technology enabled telecommuting, it is people that are driving the trend forward. Across every age group, what they want—and increasingly demand—is the flexibility to work how, when, and where they want. And smart employers are finally coming to understand, what’s good for their people is good for them.


Telecommuting by Income Among those who earn $100,000 a year or less (79% of telecommuters versus 67% of non-telecommuters), the average telecommuter makes approximately $4,000 a year more than non-telecommuters.

The average annual income for most telecommuters is $4,000 higher than that of non-telecommuters.

Average Income: Telecommuters vs. Non-telecommuters Source: Special analysis of U.S. Census data conducted for FlexJobs by Global Workplace Analytics


Average Income (for those earning less than $100,000 a year)









Telecommuting by Gender Work-at-home participation is roughly equal between the genders. Fifty-two percent are female (compared to 48% of the total workforce). This split has changed little over the past decade.

The percent of women and men who telecommute is about equal. This debunks a common myth that telecommuting is a “mommy� thing.

Prevalence of telecommuting by gender Source: Special analysis of U.S. Census data conducted for FlexJobs by Global Workplace Analytics




Telecommuting by Age A typical telecommuter is older than the average employee. Half are 45 years of age or older, compared to just 41% of the overall workforce. The greatest disproportional participation in telecommuting occurs in the following age groups:

Half of telecommuters are 45 years of age or older, compared to just 41% of the overall workforce.

% of workforce in each age group

Dierences in population by age between telecommuters and non-telecommuters Source: Special analysis of U.S. Census data conducted for FlexJobs by Global Workplace Analytics Differences in population by age between telecommuters and non-telecommuters 24% 24% 23% 23% 21%


19% 17%




15% 12%


10% 8%

9% 6%


3% 0%

16 to 24

25 to 34

35 to 44


45 to 54

55 to 64




Telecommuting by Education Telecommuters are, on average, more highly educated than other employees. Approximately 53% have at least a bachelor’s degree, compared to 37% of non-telecommuters.

% of workforce in each education level

But not all work-at-home jobs require a college degree. Twenty percent of telecommuters have a high school diploma (or less) and 27% have an associate’s degree.

H ig

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Differences in education between telecommuters and non-telecommuters Source: Special analysis of U.S. Census data conducted for FlexJobs by Global Workplace Analytics


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19% 14%

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Telecommuters are, on average, more highly educated than other employees. Approximately 53% have at least a bachelor’s degree, compared to 37% of non-telecommuters.


Telecommuting by Occupation Management, oďŹƒce/administrative occupations, and sales together account for 43% of telecommuter jobs compared to just 34% of non-telecommuter jobs.

Though participation levels vary by occupation, telecommuters are found in every industry.

Telecommuting is most common in management occupations, but employees in computer, mathematical, and military occupations are much more likely to work at home.


Telecommuting by Industry The Professional Services industry accounts for the largest share of telecommuters (17% of total). The Healthcare and Finance industries account for 12% and 10% respectively. But relative to their share of the total workforce, telecommuting is most common in Management, Agriculture, Real Estate, Information, and Mining industries. You might expect some jobs in those industries to be work-at-home compatible due to their high administrative component, but Agriculture and Mining industry compatibility may come as a surprise. The information age is changing the nature of jobs in every industry.

While the Professional, ScientiďŹ c, and Technical Services industry has the highest volume of telecommuters, relative to its share of the workforce, the Management of Companies and Agriculture industries top the list because of administrative job components.


Telecommuting by Mode of Transport % change in workforce commuter mode

At the national level, telecommuting grew far faster than any other means of transportation to work over the past decade.

Change in commuter mode from 2005 to 2015 160%

Source: Special analysis of U.S. Census data conducted for FlexJobs by Global Workplace Analytics

115% 80%





Car - Alone






Walking Telecommuting

Mode of commute

In over half (57%) of the largest metros areas, the percentage of workers who telecommute exceeds the percentage who use public transit services.

In more than half of the top U.S. metros, telecommuting exceeds public transportation as the commute option of choice. It has grown far faster than any other commute mode. Across the top metros (those with a workforce of 1 million or more) the numbers show that 76% of employees drive to work without sharing the ride, 8.8% carpool, 7.1% use public transit, 3.1% telecommute (versus 2.9% nationally), 2.8% walk, and 1.9% bike or take a taxi.


Telecommuting Geography Highest Concentration Boulder, CO, has the highest concentration of telecommuters with 8.5% of their workforce working at home at least half of the time. That’s almost 3.5 times more than the national average of 2.9%. The U.S. metro areas with the highest concentrations of telecommuters tend to be small and mid-sized cities—7 of the top 10 have an employee workforce of 300,000 or less.

Lowest Concentration Lafayette, LA, areas have the lowest concentration of telecommuters and the bottom 5 areas for telecommuting have less than half the national average percent of telecommuters.


Large Metro Areas Across the large metro areas, Austin-Round Rock, TX, metro area has the highest concentration of telecommuters, nearly twice (5.4%) the national average (as a percent of employees). Detroit, MI, falls at the bottom of this ranking with only 2.3% working from home.

What about the biggest cities? New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Dallas are on par with the national average telecommuting rate of 2.9%.


Telecommuting Growth by Metro The metro area with the highest growth of telecommuters was Chattanooga, TN, with a 325% increase in the number of telecommuters over the past decade.

Top Growth Among All Metro Areas: 2005 – 2015


Source: Special analysis of U.S. Census data conducted for FlexJobs by Global Workplace Analytics


273% 246%




200% 150% 100% 50%

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% growth in telecommuters



Access to Telecommuting Options Access to Telecommuting by Total Workforce Many surveys suggest as many as 70% of employers offer flexible workplace options, suggesting flexibility is very common. While the majority of employers may offer some employees the option to work at home, far fewer make it available to all or most. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tracks the prevalence of flexible workplace benefits with a more rigid standard than public surveys. It only counts employers who offer telecommuting to all or most of their people. According to BLS data, only 7% of U.S. employers offered telecommuting benefits in 2015. Still, this represents a 40% increase from the 5% that did so just five years before.

Growth in access to telecommuting benefits 8%

Source: Special analysis of U.S. Census data conducted for FlexJobs by Global Workplace Analytics

% of workforce with access to telecommuting benefits


6% 5%





40% more U.S. employers offered flexible workplace options in 2015 than in 2010, but still only 7% make it available to most of their people.


Access to Telecommuting by Company Size Larger companies are most likely to offer telecommuting options to most of their people. 12% Telecommuting options are more than twice as common in large companies (those with over 500 employees) than small ones (those with under 100); offered by 12% and 5% respectively.

7% 5%

The greatest growth of the offering is seen among mid-size companies (between 100 and 500 employees), up 75% since 2010. Under 100 People

100 - 500 People

Over 500 People

Access to Telecommuting by Geography Telecommuting growth by region since 2010 New England 71% Mountain 20%

West North Central 20%

Pacific 25%

East North Central 20% Mid-Atlantic 50% South Atlantic 20%

West South Central 20%

There are significant geographic differences in employers that offer work-at-home options to all or most employees. Growth has been strongest in the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions (respectively up 71% and 50% since 2010). Employers in the New England and MidAtlantic regions offer telecommuting options far more (12% and 9% of employers respectively), than those in the East South Central region.

East South Central <1%

New England and Mid-Atlantic region employers are the most likely to offer access to flexible workplace options.


Access to Telecommuting by Part-Time/Full-Time Status Employers are more likely to offer work-at-home options to full-time workers (8% of employers) than part-time employees (2%). That doesn’t look like it will change any time soon. While access among full-time employees increased 33% since 2010, there was no change for part-timers.

Full-time employees are four times more likely to have work-at-home options than part-time employees.

Access to Telecommuting by Union Status

Seven percent of non-union employees have access to flexible work benefits (up 40% since 2010), compared to only 3% of union employees, though growth for the latter group doubled since 2010.

Non-union employees are more than twice as likely than union employees to have access to telecommuting, but union access is growing rapidly.


Impact of Telecommuting Global Workplace Analytics has developed research-based models to estimate the impact of various workplace strategies. Its Telework Savings Calculator™ has been vetted by the U.S. General Accountability Office and used by hundreds of government and private sector employers to make the people, planet, and profit business case for telecommuting. Based on savings assumptions drawn from Global Workplace Analytics’ extensive academic and empirical research, its model estimates the 3.9 million employees who telecommuted (half-time or more) in 2015 collectively saved employers $44 billion a year (an average of $11,000 per half-time telecommuter). More critically, if those who held work-at-home compatible jobs (56% of employees) and wanted to work from home at least some of the time (85% of employees) did so just half-time, those employer savings could total $688 billion a year.

Employers can save over $11,000 per half-time telecommuter per year. Across the existing work-at-home population, that potentially adds up to $44 billion in savings. If the telecommuting workforce expanded to include those who could and wanted to work from home, the potential employer savings could approach $690 million a year.

Savings factor (based on halftime telecommuting)

Assumed decrease with half-time telecommuting

Savings estimate for 3.9 million existing halftime telecommuters

Savings estimate for 62 million potential telecommuters



$27.5 billion

$436 billion

Real estate


$7.6 billion

$121 billion



$5.1 billion

$81 billion

Voluntary turnover


$1.5 billion

$24 billion

$1.7 billion

$27 billion

$43.6 billion

$689 billion

Continuity of operations

Total employer savings

1 day/year


Not all the beneďŹ ts of telecommuting programs can be reduced to numbers. Well-executed programs can also help employers: Expand their labor pool and reduce talent/labor gaps Optimize space utilization Enhance organizational agility Reduce travel time to and from meetings Increase employee engagement Reduce the cost of technology Lower employee stress Reduce work/life conflict Slow the brain drain Enhance creativity and innovation Focus on employee results vs. presence Reduce paper usage and the associated storage space Expand without increasing their geographic footprint Lower or eliminate parking and transit subsidies Avoid environmental penalties and compliance costs Become a “best place to workâ€? Solve parking availability problems Enhance the corporate image


Impact on the Environment/Community The environmental and community impact from the current telecommuting population of 3.9 million telecommuters who work from home at least half-time saves $1.5 billion a year. The greenhouse gas reduction savings is equivalent to taking over 600,000 cars off the road for a year. Savings would total $24 billion a year from the environmental and community impact if the practice expanded to include half-time telecommuting among those with compatible jobs (56% of employees) and a desire to work from home (85% of employees). The greenhouse gas reduction would equate to taking over 10 million cars off the road for a year.

Environmental/Community impact (half-time telecommuting) Vehicle miles (not) traveled

Annual savings estimate for 3.9 million existing telecommuters

Annual savings estimate for 62 million potential telecommuters

7.8 billion

124 billion

530 million

8 billion

3 million

54 million

617 thousand

10 million

Reduced traffic accident costs

$498 million

$8 billion

Oil savings ($50/barrel)

$980 million

$16 billion

$1.5 billion

$24 billion

Vehicle trips avoided Tons of greenhouse gases (GHG) avoided (EPA method) GHG equivalent of cars off the road

Total environmental/community financial savings Telecommuting can also help:

Reduce traffic congestion and road wear and tear Lower unemployment and under-employment, particularly among the disabled, military families, senior caregivers, and others with special flexibility needs Increase productivity by reducing traffic delays Slow the outbound migration of citizens in geographically isolated areas, vacation communities, and places that have suffered a collapse of core industries (e.g. coal mining, steel production, auto production, etc.) Reduce crime by increasing daytime presence of homeowners Increase the return on investment of publicly funded broadband projects Reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil

Existing telecommuters reduce greenhouses by the equivalent of taking over 600,000 cars off the road for a year. If the work-at-home workforce expanded to include those who could and wanted to telecommute half of the time, the GHG savings would equate to taking 10 million cars off the road per year. 23

Impact on Employees The benefits of telecommuting are numerous and can help employees:

Save Money: Full-time telecommuters save over $4,000 each year. Half-time telecommuting employees save an average of $2,677 annually in commuting costs (gas, tolls, public transit passes, parking, car maintenance, etc.), food (buying out lunches, coffee), tax breaks, and professional attire upkeep (purchasing, dry cleaning, and laundering). Save Time: By not spending time commuting every day, the average employee also gains back the equivalent of over two workweeks (11 days) per year.

Reduce Work-Life Conflict:

Improve Health and Wellness:

lower stress

make more time for physical activity

spend more time with children, family, and friends

eat healthier

improve relationships with loved ones

recover from illness or surgery at home

increase quality of life

care for a health issue or disability

improve love and sex life

create a comfortable, ergonomic work space

more time for hobbies, side projects

less exposure to common illnesses: colds, flus, etc.

phase into retirement

Improve Work Performance and Career Growth:

Balance All Responsibilities: maintaining work as a military spouse

increase productivity and engagement

care for aging parents, children, dependents

fewer distractions, less office politicking

reduce living expenses by not needing to live by work

feel more loyal to employer

juggle multiple professions

find work in rural or economically disadvantaged areas transition to a new career

Reduce Carbon Footprint: reduce C02 emissions by not commuting

Increase Community Involvement:

control use of heat, AC, lighting

volunteer more in children’s schools/local organizations

opt to use less paper, disposable items

increase community and neighborhood awareness

travel less thanks to virtual meetings


Concluding Thoughts Telecommuting has expanded steadily over the past decade, even increasing in usage during the Great Recession when overall employment dropped, and it’s increasingly seen as a valuable business strategy that benefits employees, organizations, and the environment. However, there are a number of things organizations can do to maximize the full benefits of telecommuting as a business strategy. The benefits of telecommuting for people, the planet, and profits have been proven. To encourage the positive expansion of telecommuting, we recommend the following action steps for government agencies, businesses, and professionals. Action Steps for Government Agencies Local, state, and federal governments should encourage telecommuting by eliminating the disincentives that currently exist in areas like tax law, labor law, and insurance. The “telecommuting tax penalty” that currently exists, where telecommuters living in a state with a “convenience of the employer” rule can be taxed twice on their income, is an unnecessary and unjust penalty on telecommuting. Tax laws need to be updated to reflect the current state of telecommuting and its widespread use. Government agencies should invest in programs to help communities increase awareness and incentivize employer participation and explore telecommuting-friendly incentives to add economic competitiveness, resilience, and opportunity for their constituents. At the federal level, the 2010 Telework Enhancement Act is a law that encourages large federal government agencies to allow employees to telecommute to the furthest extent possible, and it has been successful in encourage telecommuting, reducing costs, and maintaining the continuity of government functions during extreme weather, bad traffic, and other disruptive events. The Maine Center for Business and Economic Research has partnered with the University of Southern Maine to study Maine’s growing telecommuting workforce as a way to encourage economic growth and employment in the state. Teleworks USA, based in eastern Kentucky, was launched as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to help connect job seekers in rural areas and small towns with remote job opportunities. It aims to bring high-demand, high-growth telecommuting jobs to workers in eastern Kentucky. Montana’s “Come Home and Bring Your Job With You” campaign encourages Montanans who’ve left the state to find jobs to return to Montana and telecommute instead. This effort includes a partnership with the Montana Chamber of Commerce. Action Steps for Businesses Businesses should consider how telecommuting can help to grow and develop their workforces and support their business goals.


Areas such as skills gaps, pressing hiring needs, jobs suited for remote work, current remote workers, potential cross-border hiring options, business expansion opportunities, and labor regulations and laws are all excellent starting points. Most importantly, companies already engaged in telecommuting need to start tracking their programs to truly understand and refine their benefits. Only 3% of companies with flexible and remote work programs conduct any sort of formalized analysis. Tracking and analysis of remote work programs can help improve their outcomes, further reduce costs and improve productivity, and ensure telecommuting programs are an effective part of the business strategy. Action Steps for Professionals If you’re not already telecommuting in your current job: Ask your manager or human resources department about your options. Sixty-seven percent of telecommuting and flexible work programs are offered at a manager’s discretion, so there may not be one equally implemented telecommuting policy at your place of employment. Propose a telecommuting arrangement. Start small, perhaps one day per week, and offer a trial period to give your manager time to get used to the idea if they seem hesitant. Seek out a new employment opportunity with one of the thousands of companies that offer telecommuting options. If you are able to telecommute in your current role: Encourage widespread adoption of telecommuting within your organization. Suggest creating an employee resource group (ERG) within your organization for telecommuters to help support and grow the program. Discuss telecommuting with friends, family, and your professional network to dispel myths about telecommuting such as: telecommuters aren’t productive; only certain industries are compatible with telecommuting; or telecommuters do not put in the same hours as their in-office counterparts. Consider finding remote volunteer positions, which are increasingly available, to give back and encourage telecommuting at the same time. It’s clear that telecommuting is increasing in usage and popularity. It is finally time to focus on the next level of telecommuting: supporting the adoption of laws that help, rather than burden, telecommuters; formalizing corporate telecommuting programs that tie the practice to business strategy and the bottom line; and tracking the effectiveness of telecommuting long-term. We’ve reached the point where the focus is no longer on whether telecommuting is just a momentary trend, but is instead on its widespread acceptance and long-term sustainability.


About About FlexJobs FlexJobs is the leading online service for professionals seeking telecommuting, flexible schedule, part-time, and freelance jobs. With flexible job listings in over 50 career categories, and opportunities ranging from entry-level to executive and freelance to full-time, FlexJobs offers job seekers a safe, easy, and efficient way to find professional and legitimate flexible job listings. Having helped over 2 million people in their job searches, FlexJobs has appeared on CNN and Marketplace Money and in TIME, Forbes, Fortune, and hundreds of other trusted media outlets. FlexJobs' Founder & CEO Sara Sutton Fell has also launched two additional partner sites, and 1 Million for Work Flexibility, to help provide education and awareness about the viability and benefits of remote working and work flexibility. Sutton Fell is also the creator of The TRaD* Works FOR (*Telecommuting, Remote, & Distributed), dedicated to helping companies leverage the benefits of telecommuting, remote, and distributed teams.

About Global Workplace Analytics Global Workplace Analytics and the tools it has created have helped hundreds of public and private sector employers and communities make the triple-bottom-line business case for remote work and the resulting increase in agility, engagement, productivity, and employee well-being. It is the leading expert on telework and emerging workplace trends. Its research is informed by a propriatary database of over 4,000 workplace-related research papers, case studies, and other documents. Its Telework Savings Calculator™, one of many return-on-investment models it has developed, was the only tool recommended for quantifying the impact of telework in government in a U.S. General Accountability Office report. One of its business case reports was cited in the Governor of Washington’s executive order calling for more telework among public sector employees. The principals of the firm, Kate Lister and Tom Harnish, are sought-after consultants, speakers, researchers, and writers. They have written or contributed to four books and hundreds of articles. They are frequently quoted in the media, including the Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, and many others.

DISCLAIMER This data and statistics in this report was produced independently by Global Workplace Analytics at the request of FlexJobs. The information, statements, and commentary contained in this report was prepared from publicly available material, on the assumption that such information was accurate and complete, and from proprietary calculations and analyses. Global Workplace Analytics and FlexJobs do not express an opinion as to the accuracy or completeness of the information provided, the assumptions made, or any conclusions. None of the statements contained in this report are intended as a business recommendation, obligation, standard, or procedure.


Telecommuting has pros and cons Maurie Backman, The Motley Fool

When it comes to compensation at work, salary isn't the only factor to look at. Rather, you'll want to pay close attention to the workplace benefits being offered by your company or any you're interviewing with. Now when it comes to employee benefits, paid vacation days and subsidized health insurance are pretty big ones. The same holds true for 401(k) plans. But if you're in the market for a new job, you may want to inquire about one key benefit that's been growing increasingly popular: the option to telecommute. These days, a good 74% of companies allow employees to telecommute, according to the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. However, only 60% of employers offer up the option when workers proactively approach them about it. Furthermore, a mere 30% of companies openly communicate about this benefit during the hiring or new employee orientation process. If you're interested in telecommuting, you should be aware that there are certain benefits and drawbacks involved. Whether the pros outweigh the cons depends on your attitude and work-related personality.

Benefits of telecommuting One key advantage to telecommuting is the option to save money on travel to and from work. Imagine you're paying $200 a month for a bus pass. Work from home full-time, and you'll pocket an extra $2,400 a year. Telecommuting can also save you time, aggravation, and stress. If you live in a high-traffic area, for example, avoiding gridlock on a regular basis can make for a much more content existence. In fact, in this regard, telecommuting can actually be better for your health, especially if it prevents you from having to drive when you're exhausted, or helps you avoid the increase in blood pressure that typically ensues when traffic just stops moving. Telecommuting can also lend to an increase in productivity. If you're not wasting time on the road, that's additional hours you can dedicate to tackling projects and meeting deadlines. And that, in turn, can help your career.

Drawbacks of telecommuting On the other hand, working remotely has its challenges. For one thing, you risk falling victim to the "out of sight, out of mind" trap. If your boss doesn't see you regularly, you might wind up getting passed over for major projects or assignments. And that could hurt your career over time. Furthermore, it's hard to maintain strong relationships with your colleagues when you see them rarely or never. It's often the case that key conversations happen on the fly, and bonds are formed over coffee breaks and between-meeting chitchat. If you're hardly around to partake, you could end up feeling like the odd person out on your team. Telecommuting, especially when you do it full-time, can also lead to feelings of isolation. Some people need the socialization that comes with working in an office. If the idea of never needing to leave the house to work makes you uneasy, it could be that working remotely just isn't for you. Finally, if telecommuting means working from home in your case, you should know that there are certain pitfalls involved. You might get easily distracted by your endless stream of household tasks and entertainment, but if you fall down on the job, you'll risk losing it permanently.

Is telecommuting right for you? Telecommuting can be a terrific benefit, but it's not ideal for everyone. If you tend to crave face time and get distracted easily, then you may be better off dragging yourself into the office, at least on a part-time basis. On the other hand, if you're the disciplined type, then a telecommuting arrangement might work out just fine for you. If your employer currently isn't offering the option to work remotely, then it pays to ask for it -especially since so many companies seem to be embracing the trend. Review the advantages with your manager or HR representative, and see if you can get someone to agree to a trial period of telecommuting at the very least. Remember, telecommuting isn't just good for employees; it can save companies countless dollars on office space and resources. So if your employer is willing to give it a go, there's a good chance everyone involved will benefit. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. The Motley Fool is a USA TODAY content partner offering financial news, analysis and commentary designed to help people take control of their financial lives. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

Telecommuting: The Pros, Cons and Risks of Working from Home By Parker Beauchamp

Allowing employees to work from home, otherwise known as “telecommuting,” is becoming a common human resources discussion. One of the main focuses of this discussion is how this trend affects companies. You might be surprised to learn that studies, including a recent study by Stanford University, have found that employees who work remotely are often more productive and work longer hours than those who head into the office. To garner a better understanding of this trend, we’ve outlined the most prevalent pros, cons and even risks of this hot topic. Pros of Telecommuting: 1. Employees are more engaged in their work. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reported on a recent study that found teleworkers are more productive and less likely to take time off work — even when sick. 2. Employers retain crucial employees. The flexibility of telecommuting helps employers retain key employees who may otherwise leave because of personal reasons, such as moving further from the office. In fact, employees who evade extensive work commutesoften experience less stress and can better sustain a positive work/life balance.

3. It is cost efficient for both the employer and employees. The Stanford University study also examined a Chinese travel agency and found that the company saved an annual average of about $2,000 per employee who worked remotely. This is because telecommuting reduces expenses across the board — from real estate and building maintenance, to security, furniture, office supplies and other expenses. Employees also can see a positive effect of telecommuting, by saving on minor expenses, such as fuel costs. Cons of Telecommuting: 1. Employees experience issues with work/personal boundaries. For parents, telecommuting while the kids are home is often a difficult task. Making a frequent transition between the role of a parent and the role of a professional at home can often be confusing for children who may not understand why you are unable to be continuously available. 2. Employees are left out of social activities. Experts agree that socializing among colleagues is very important to build positive trust and support in the workplace. Those who work from home may forego important collaborative opportunities that occur during social activities and networking events. 3. Employees experience less creativity due to lack of collaboration. Research on creativity has found that certain moments of brilliance are sparked by unexpected conversations (for instance, while grabbing a cup of coffee with a colleague). Lack of presence in the office prohibits telecommuters from experiencing unintentional creativity throughout the workday. Risks of Telecommuting: 1. Extended Workers’ Compensation. Remote workers are changing the landscape of where traditional business is conducted. This, in turn, also changes the clarity and classification of workers’ compensation. Take for instance, an employee who chooses to work while on vacation. There is potential risk that the employee may be injured from unsteady working conditions, such as checking emails while on a boat.

Although telecommuters may not initially appear to be a noticeable workers’ compensation risk, many employers could be unaware of the working conditions of their employees. The most important step that employers should implement when allowing employees to work from home is to set up clear guidelines — in writing — and have the employee read and sign the agreement. 2. Increased risk of network privacy and security loss. Maintaining safe and effective network protection can often be difficult enough within an organization, but when employees remotely access documents located on a company’s internal network, privacy and security can be compromised. A breach in security could lead to detrimental situations and costly circumstances — including losses of consumer personal or medical data. To help prevent potential security breaches, employers should provide telecommuters with company-issued equipment and prohibit administrator privileges. It is also wise for employers to invest in both first-party and thirdparty business insurance. First-party insurance protects a company’s assets — including files, expenses and internal records — while third-party insurance covers settlements and defense costs in case a third-party lawsuit emerges. If you’re interested in learning more about the risks and benefits that come with offering employee perks, read, “The Impact of Paid Sick Days on Workplace Wellness and Insurance Costs.” Image Credit: moleshko via Pixabay

According to the 2018 Mercer Talent Trends Study, 51 percent of manufacturing employees want their company to offer more flexible work options. Yet only nine percent of HR leaders in the industry say flexible working is visibly present in their organization. Workers increasingly cite flexibility as one of the top things they look for in a job. As a result, remote work has become more common in many workplaces, but this isn’t as easy for manufacturing companies to offer. For many roles, employees simply need to be on the factory floor to get the job done. Even though employees can’t easily work from home, there are other ways manufacturing companies can provide flexibility. That’s great news—not just for employees who can achieve better work-life balance—but also for employers. Research has found that flexible work arrangements can improve employee engagement and effectiveness, which means your company has a lot to gain from offering flexibility. Read on to find out how your manufacturing company can provide flexible working opportunities that help attract and retain talent, while also boosting productivity.

Offer Flexible Hours Having on-site and shift work doesn’t mean there’s no room for flexibility at your company. Here are a few ways you can give your employees the ability to set a work schedule that works for them.

Flex Hours At Globe Manufacturing Co. LLC in Pittsfield, New Hampshire, first-shift employees get to choose their start time between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. When the policy was first implemented, 80 percent of employees chose to keep their 6 a.m. start time, but they felt better about it because they had been given the choice.

Can your company offer employees a choice in their hours? Employees—especially those with young children who may need to do the school run—will see something as simple as choosing whether to come in at 7 a.m. or 8 a.m. as a way to significantly improve their working lives.

Shift Swapping Shift swapping is common at retail companies and in restaurants, and it can work well in the manufacturing setting. This flexible perk is exactly what it sounds like: employees are allowed to swap shifts with managerial approval. Some companies also allow employees to swap split shifts, switching just four hours out of an eight-hour shift. Shift swaps can accommodate medical appointments, family care, and other situations that require employees to be out for some time during working hours. If you adopt shift swapping at your company, make sure to establish a clear procedure. Ask yourself: • How many shifts are employees allowed to swap in a given month or shift rotation? • Who needs to approve shift swaps? • How do employees get this approval? Once you’ve established your shift swap procedure, you can consider using scheduling software to make the procedure easier and avoid any miscommunications around the trading of shifts.

Compressed or Short Work Weeks Another way to provide more flexible hours is to offer compressed or short work weeks. In compressed work weeks, employees work longer days in order to work fewer days. Compressed schedules are common among firefighters and nurses, who often work three 12-hour days and then have four days off. Other common compressed schedules include working 9-hour work days and taking every second Friday off; and working 10-hour work days and taking every Friday off.

Some employers have everyone take Friday off. Globe Manufacturing Co. LLC — the same company that offers flex hours — avoided layoffs in 2008 by scheduling four-day workweeks from Monday to Thursday. One-quarter of U.S. workers would take a 20 percent pay cut to work one fewer day a week, which might make this an attractive option for flexibility at your company.

Be Flexible With Time Off When it comes to offering your staff greater flexibility, it’s just as important to take into consideration the time your employees don’t spend at work. Here are a few ways to be flexible with employee time off.

Create a Paid Time Off Policy A paid time off (PTO) policy lumps together vacation days, sick time, and personal time into a single bank of days which employees can use to take paid time off work.

Giving employees the discretion to draw from a single bank of days provides more flexibility than having separate allotments for vacations, sick time, and personal time. It also frees up time for your managers, as they don’t have to police requests for various types of leave. With this arrangement, it’s important to ensure that your employees don’t consider all PTO to be impromptu vacation time and start coming to work when they are sick. For a better PTO experience, require that employees put in their PTO requests with at least two days’ notice, except when sick. If your company requires a doctor’s note for absences that last more than a certain number of days, a PTO policy can still accommodate that within its terms.

Offer Floating Holidays If a PTO policy doesn’t make sense for your organization, consider offering floating holidays, where employees choose the days they take for vacation — subject to their manager’s approval and business needs, of course.

While many manufacturing plants close down for predetermined weeks each year, your employees may sometimes want to take vacation days outside of this period. Floating holidays offer them the chance to enjoy days off they’ve chosen without affecting their overall work commitment.

Ask Employees When the Company Should Shut Down Maybe your plant shuts down for two weeks in January, but most of your employees would prefer two weeks off in July instead. Or perhaps your staff wonders why they have to come in between Christmas and New Year’s when little or no work is occurring during that period. By surveying your employees about when they would prefer the company to take a break, you can come up with a schedule that suits your staff and the needs of your company in order to ensure the most productivity. This can also boost employee engagement at your company by letting team members have a say in their own work-life balance. You likely won’t be able to set a two-week break that meets every individual’s preferences, but it goes a long way simply to show employees their voices are heard when making the decision.

Offer Part-Time Work and Job Sharing Your company may already offer part-time positions on the assembly line, but other positions can be part-time, too. Professional, skilled part-time work is quite common in countries like Switzerland. Offering part-time positions, both on the floor and in the office, can make your company a more appealing place to work, helping you to attract and retain key team members. Employees at all levels — from entry-level manufacturing positions to senior-level managers — may be interested in part-time work if it’s available to them.

For positions that require a full-time presence, job sharing allows two people to share a position, performing one job. One person might work from Monday to Wednesday and the other from Wednesday to Friday, with a handoff on the overlapping days. When an employee who previously worked full-time has personal or health issues that mean they can no longer maintain full-time hours, job sharing is an excellent solution. It prevents your company from losing the person’s expertise while ensuring that the work gets done. It also sets a foundation for smooth succession planning if the more experienced person were to leave the company in the future. When employees have more control over their schedules, they are happier, less stressed, and more productive. You may not be able to allow employees to work from home, but that doesn’t mean you have nothing to offer them. By offering flexibility in creative ways, you can give your staff a better work-life balance and increase their productivity and engagement at work, so your company can thrive. Chris Lennon is Vice President of Product Management at BirdDogHR. Chris is an active participant in the talent management community bringing over 18 years of experience to BirdDogHR.

Reboot The Commute Guide | 2019 Alternative commuting strategies for the Charleston region

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