Telework numbers add up

Federal employees who telework could see tons of savings -- literally.

During this year’s Telework Week, held March 5 to 9, feds avoided driving 5,994,006 miles, thus saving $5,168,83 on commuting and avoiding the addition of 3,022 tons of pollutants to the air, according to a new report. Estimates from the Telework Exchange also show that if all eligible federal employees teleworked twice a week for one year, they could save $5 billion.

The "Bank on Telework: The Telework Week 2012 Impact and Year-over-Year Benchmark" report from the Telework Exchange and Cisco shows federal employees represented 94 percent of Telework Week pledges. Overall, with federal and private-sector participation, Telework Week pledges collectively saved $5.6 million in commuting costs. To extrapolate, if all Telework Week pledges teleworked for one year, they could save $282 million -- or $3,962 individually --  in commuting costs.

Nearly 80 percent of those who telework during Telework Week said they realized the enhanced morale/ employee satisfaction that comes from working outside the office. Greater work-life balance, increased productivity and improved continuity of operations were also popular picks.

Perhaps thanks to advancements in technology and more telework training, fewer participants this year said they had encountered problems when teleworking. Of those who said they had met challenges, technical issues remain at the forefront of worries (61 percent). Participants also cited trust (11 percent) and communications issues (10 percent) as obstacles to overcome.

The Department of Agriculture and the General Services Administration were just two agencies that participated in Telework Week this year. USDA had 7,516 pledges from 29 different agencies and sub-organizations participate, and 65 percent -- or 8,000 employees-- of GSA’s workforce took part.

About the Author

Camille Tuutti is a former FCW staff writer who covered federal oversight and the workforce.

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