I was looking over the study “The State of Telework in the U.S.” and noticed a very interesting statistic:
The study found no correlation between cities with the most congestion or longest commute times and number of workshifters.
One of the common arguments for telework is saving gas and the carbon footprint. That’s not to say those benefits don’t occur but the benefits of telework extend far beyond gas money. So for organizations looking at their telework options, there are more opportunities to consider.
And, what exactly are those different benefits, you ask? Well, the Families and Work Institute (FWI) in partnership with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) have created a national initiative called When Work Works, to bring research about flexible work to the business world.
The site includes a guide of best practices from the recipients of the Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility. It also includes tips and tools for companies and human resources professionals such as:
- Toolkit for Hourly Employees with Flexible Work Arrangements
- The Supervisors’ Guide to Flexibility
- Employer Guide to Getting Started with Flexible Work
…and many more. In searching around the site, I found tremendous resources to use in developing a telework program and a few best practices I hadn’t thought of before. It’s a great way to think beyond the obvious when it comes to talking about telework and weighing the costs versus benefits.
Telework is one of those subjects where most people can immediately see there are benefits. That’s not usually the hard sell. It’s trying to get our arms around how much of a benefit and when the benefit will be realized that’s more of a challenge.
The research coming out of When Work Works can help us figure out how to put quantitative metrics around the benefits of telework. In order for telework to have long-term success in the workplace, calculating a tangible return on investment is essential.
Photo Credit: Citrix Online