Telecommuting is a work arrangement in which employees enjoy flexibility in working location and hours. In other words, the daily commute to a central place of work is replaced by telecommunication links. Telecommuting offers benefits to communities, employers, and employees.
For communities, telecommuting can offer fuller employment by increasing the employ-ability of marginalized groups, such as work at home parents and caregivers, the disabled, retirees, and people living in remote areas, reduces traffic congestion and traffic accidents, relieves the strain on transportation infrastructures, reduces greenhouse gases, saves fuel, reduces energy use, and improves disaster preparedness.
For companies like the County, telecommuting expands the talent pool, reduces the spread of illness, reduces costs, increases productivity, reduces the carbon footprint and energy usage, offers an inexpensive method of complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), reduces turnover and absenteeism, improves employee morale, offers a continuity of operations strategy, improves their ability to handle business across multiple time zones, and hastens their cultural adaptability.
For individuals, telecommuting, or more specifically, work from home arrangements, improves work-life balance, reduces the employee's carbon footprint and fuel usage, frees up the equivalent of 15 to 25 workdays a year—time they would have otherwise spent commuting, and saves between $4,000 and $21,000 per year in travel and work-related costs (not including daycare). When gas prices average $3.00 per gallon, the average full-time employee who commutes 5 days per week spends $138.80 per month on gasoline.
While the Telecommuting Program is entirely voluntary, individual participation is solely a management prerogative. Employees interested in participating must request authorization from their department for a telecommute arrangement.
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