It’s hard to believe that less than 30 years ago telecommuting did not even exist, and it was only 20 years ago that the Internet made telecommuting a practical option. Supervisors did not study job descriptions to find out if they were compatible with telecommuting or how to manage employees without seeing them in the office every day.
We have come a long way to finally reach the point where a “place of work” is not just an office – it’s where you are able to do your work, and employers have the flexibility to define what that looks like for their organization.
At Gwinnett County Government, we have quite a few employees who are able to telework and take the option to do so. It is by no means a requirement, but it is great to see employees take the initiative to help us out with parking challenges we have at some of our facilities, reducing congestion on roads and side streets, and ultimately taking responsibility for supporting clean air initiatives in metro Atlanta.
Our employees are smart. They see the benefits of teleworking for us as an employer as well as what’s in it for them. Employees who telework recognize that they are more productive since their work day starts promptly at 8 a.m. when they are able to power up their computers at home instead of having to rush out the door and sit in traffic on the way to the office. They see that teleworking reduces their travel time and stress and they know that when they are happier, they work harder.
I look forward to seeing how technology will continue to transform the workplace and help us with our goals of reducing our impact on the environment. I can’t help but wonder where we will be 30 years from now.
Kenneth Poe, is human resources director for Gwinnett County. Gwinnett County Government was recently named a finalist for the PACE Government Champion Award given to county employers with outstanding commute options programs.
The second-annual Georgia Telework Week wraps up September 16. Show your support for telework here.