Telecommuting (sometimes referred to as teleworking) is the practice of working off site via telecommunications technology. Often, employees arrange with their managers to carry out all, or part of, their work away from their normal place of business, usually from home or a telework center. The purpose is twofold: to move the work to the worker instead of moving the worker to work and to reduce the need for single occupant vehicle travel.
Telecommuting improves air quality by decreasing vehicle trips, vehicle miles traveled, and traffic congestion. It can provide employees with an important alternative to driving alone to work at peak hours. Employee telework practices even one or two days a week, or one or two days a month, can have a measurable impact on congestion and improve employee morale.
Challenge Participants Currently Adopting This Practice
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
- Boston Housing Authority
- Boston Private Bank
- Federal Reserve
- John Hancock
- Massachusetts Convention Center Authority
- Meister Consultants
- Nixon Peabody
- Oxford Properties
- Peabody Office Furniture
- Putnam Investments
- TRO Jung|Brannen
- Tsoi/Kobus & associates
Financing Options, Incentives, And Rebates
- U.S. DOT Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program and Telecommuting
Fun Telecommuting Facts (It All Adds Up)
- Americans spend more than 200 hours commuting from home to work each year, equal to 5 weeks of vacation!
- Telecommuting—just one day a week for a year—can save the typical commuter about 1,200 miles on his or her vehicle and more than 58 gallons of gas.
- The typical “peak period” traveler uses an extra 28 gallons of fuel per year due to inefficient vehicle operation in congested conditions.
- A National Household Travel Survey showed that commuting has declined as a share of all vehicle trips—from nearly 33% in 1969 to less than 15% 30 years later—so it’s important to look beyond your commuting trips for ways to reduce driving.
Templates and Samples
- Telecommuting Policy Template
- Flash Animation promotion for Intranet site – It All Adds Up to Cleaner Air
A Small Sample of Telecommuting Equipment Suppliers and Providers
- LogMeIn.com – free service
- Cisco Systems, Inc. – consultant
- Citrix Systems, Inc. – consultant
- Workfit Program
- MassGov Telecommuting FAQ , Policy , & Agreement
- Boston National Telecommuting Institute, Inc.
- Telecommuting’s Hidden Environmental Benefits
In The News
- “It’s Unclearly Defined, but Telecommuting is Fast on the Rise” New York Times, March 2014
- “Having an Out of Office Experience” Hartford Courant, August 23, 2009
- “Telecommuting Programs Make Orgs Lean, Mean, and Green” Information Week, December 6, 2008