The second-annual Georgia Telework Week brought more attention and support to the idea that sometimes, the best commute is the one employees don’t have to make. 

Some highlights from 2011 Georgia Telework Week:

  • The Clean Air Campaign received support from Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, who issued a proclamation declaring the week of September 12-16 an ideal to recognize that “The potential for growth of telework in Georgia is tremendous.  Georgia businesses can save money, realize more productivity from their workforces and improve recruitment and retention.”
  • Nearly 140 Georgia employers in both the private and public sectors gave their support during Georgia Telework Week.
  • Dozens of employers attended the first-ever Georgia Telework Summit to learn from their peers about how to effectively grow and manage telework in the context of a workplace strategy.
  • The results of the 336,000 commuters who telework at least once a week eliminated some 12 million miles of vehicle travel from Georgia roads and kept 6,000 tons of pollution out of the air we all breathe.
  • These commuters also saved a combined $5.6 million on gas and car expenses by teleworking.
  • More than 2,000 teleworkers logged their commute into the Commuter Rewards system, and 25 of them were selected at random to receive $25 gift cards as a thank you for teleworking
  • Teleworkers submitted 25 nominations for Telemanager of the Quarter, an award given to an outstanding manager of remote workers who has made a big difference by championing telework at their company
  • One organization noted that their telework program has helped leverage nearly $400,000 of savings on building maintenance and janitorial services.

Some comments from employer organizations that support telework:
“Because of telework programs at our mid-sized, 70 person company, we will eliminate up to 850 commute trips this year.”
-- VeenendaalCave

“We’re using telework as a strategy to increase productivity and cost savings in these tough economic times. We now have an entire division that has transitioned into telework.”
-- Georgia Department of Community Health

“In addition to providing greater flexibility and efficiency for our employees, the systems and infrastructure that we have established in order to facilitate teleworking have also served as an effective "emergency plan" when staff was unable to get to the office (during last January's ice storm, for example).”
-- Park Pride

Some comments from commuters who telework:

“I am actually more productive when I telework and work longer hours.  It allows me to balance home and work better.”
-- Julie D.

“Anything we can all do to keep our air cleaner and reduce our dependence on foreign oil is the right thing to do.”
-- Mark F.

Three key takeaways from 2011 Georgia Telework Week:

1.  While there are already more than 600,000 teleworkers in metro Atlanta and more across Georgia, there is tremendous potential to further grow telework statewide. At least 245,000 more commuters would telework if their employers established a program.

2.  Georgia is among the most wired areas in the nation, giving us a competitive advantage for telework over other major metropolitan areas. Due to our changing workforce and technology, more jobs today can be accomplished remotely.

3.  What bears out time and again from organizations trying to get telework programs off the ground is that the winning formula begins with management support.  Embracing telework as a business strategy becomes a primary objective in the early going: helping make the business case is one of the many ways The Clean Air Campaign’s telework consulting experts can help.