Telecommuting and Remote Work
The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in many jobs moving to telecommuting or remote work beginning in spring 2020. This webpage is dedicated to providing telecommuting/remote work resources to employers and employees within the City of Fort Collins.
Although the resources here are meant to help businesses in response to current issues and challenges, the City is working to further support telecommuting/remote work after COVID-19 because of the benefits for employers and employees associated with working from home and environmental benefits due to reduced commuting travel.
Telecommuting and Remote Work in Fort Collins
Telecommuting is one of a set of Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategies that encourage people to shift away from driving alone to more sustainable options. Currently, over 8% of the Fort Collins workforce report that they usually work from home (American Community Survey).
Shifting trips by working at home can help increase the efficiency of the transportation system since it allows more people to move within the same amount of physical space. In addition to reducing automobile trips, telecommuting supports other community and environmental goals such as increasing physical activity, reducing air pollution, and reducing the amount of energy expended on transportation.
Telecommuting / Remote Work Information and Resources
The following best practices related to remote and flexible work schedules have been issued by the Governor’s #DoingMyPartCO campaign:
- Encourage and enable remote work whenever possible
- Provide flexible or remote scheduling for employees who need to continue to Stay at Home, who may have a child or elder care obligations, or who live with a person who still needs to observe Stay at Home due to an underlying condition, age, or other factors.
- As part of Safer at Home guidelines, telecommuting continues for offices. Starting May 4, up to 50% of staff can work in person (with social distancing in place).
- Less parking and commuting expenses
- Reduces fuel usage and greenhouse gas emissions
- Better balance of work and personal lives
- More free time to employees who would have otherwise spent commuting
- Less commuting stress
Statistics – Employees
- We estimate that employees save between $2,500 and $4,000 per year by working at home half the time. Those savings are primarily due to reduced costs for travel, parking, and food. They are net of additional energy costs and home food costs [Global Workplace Analytics].
- In terms of time, a half-time telecommuter saves the equivalent of 11 workdays per year in time they would have otherwise spent commuting. Extreme commuters save more than three times that amount. These estimates assume a 75% reduction in driving on telework days [Global Workplace Analytics].
Draft telework agreements
- Reduce spread of illness
- Increased employee productivity
- Attract and retain talent
- Increase employee loyalty and reduce turnover
- Improved employee morale
- Improved customer service
- Increase employee engagement
- Reduces energy use and greenhouse gas emissions
- Save money by reducing overhead costs
- Decreases demand for office and parking space
Statistics - employers (to support the promotion of telework)
- Based on conservative assumptions, we estimate a typical employer can save an average of $11,000 per half-time telecommuter per year. The primary savings are the result of increased productivity, lower real estate costs, reduced absenteeism and turnover, and better disaster preparedness [Global Workplace Analytics].
- 80% of employees want to work from home at least some of the time [State of Remote Work 2019, Owl Labs]
- 35% of employees would change jobs for the opportunity to work remotely full time (47% of Millennials and 31% of boomers); 37% would do so to work remotely some of the time (50% of Millennials and 33% of Boomers) [State of the American Workforce, Gallup, 2016]
- Flexibility is one of the highest-ranked benefits by Millennials, even higher than student loan or tuition reimbursement. It ranked high for Boomers too although the percentages were 15-20 points lower. [State of the American Workforce, Gallup, 2017]
- More than a third of workers would take a pay cut of up to 5% in exchange for the option to work remotely at least some of the time; a quarter would take a 10% pay cut; 20% would take an even greater cut. [State of Remote Work 2019, Owl Labs]
Technology for Remote Work
Employer Savings Calculator
- Global Analytics has provided a free calculator for employers to estimate the potential employee, employer, and environmental impact of remote work at your organization.
Tips on teleworking
- Provide a telework webpage to employees - dedicated to technology and remote meeting sites
Benefits of Telecommuting and Remote Work
According to the State of Work Productivity Report, 65% of full-time employees think a remote work schedule would increase productivity. Other research has shown that managers report an increase in productivity from their remote workers. Telecommuters tend to be more productive thanks to fewer distractions, less (to no) time commuting, improved health and flexibility in work choices.
Health & the Environment
On average people in Fort Collins spend about 40 minutes commuting to and from work each day. Fort Collins has committed to reducing our carbon footprint and lowering our Green House Gas emissions. Telecommuting is a key tool in reducing driving and transportation emissions. Additionally commuting by car can be stressful, particularly when the weather is bad or traffic conditions are poor.
Working from home, even a few days a week can help lead to healthier lifestyles, higher morale, lower stress levels, and lower absenteeism.
Telecommuting helps reduce operating costs, by realizing potential savings in less office space, fewer office supplies, furniture, equipment, cleaning services, and coffee. Additionally, a company can realize savings by reduced turnover. A Stanford University report found that job attrition rates fell by over 50 percent. and telecommuters were more willing to work overtime and felt more loyalty. Prioritizing a healthy work-life balance has been shown to reduce turnover, which can save costs from reducing expensive onboarding and recruitment.
Telecommuting and remote work doesn't have to be for the entire work week. Employees and employers can work out a flexible schedule for on-site and off-site work throughout the week, reaping the best of both remote work and face-to-face interaction. According to Global Workplace Analytics' observation of clients and case studies, two to three days a week for remote work seems to be the sweet spot that allows for a balance of concentrated work at home and collaborative work at the office.
- General Overview of Telecommuting
- U.S. General Services Administration
- American Psychological Association
- Planetizen Articles
- Telework Calculator
Telecommuting Resources in Colorado