2013 Telework Week Participation Skyrockets

The third annual National Telework Week proves to be the most successful telework conference to date.

telework reportThe third annual telework week report released this morning by the Mobile Work Exchange, The Telework Revolution: Bringing Theory to Practice, details the impact and achievements of last month’s National Telework Week.

National Telework Week, the global movement that promotes telecommuting, is a collaborative project developed by the Mobile Work Exchange in conjunction with Cisco, Citrix, and a host of other supportive partners from NASA to the USDA. National Telework Week is an extension of the 2010 Telework Enhancement Act that gives government agencies greater control over flexible work arrangements for employees and independent contractors.

The 2013 National Telework Week, held from March 4-8, realized more than 136,000 telecommute pledges – nearly 3.5 times the number of pledges in 2011. To help give a little perspective on this number: National Telework Week has tracked a growth rate similar “to the first two years of iPhone sales,” according to the report. Similar to the iPhone, the true impact of this global telecommuting movement isn’t found in its popularity, but in its measurable benefits:

Sizable savings. For 2013 alone, National Telework Week pledges made substantial gains for the environment, economy, and business productivity. As a result of telecommuting at least one day during the week-long National Telework Week celebration, pledges cut out 15.1 commuting miles, saved $12.3 million in commuting costs, recovered 665,936 hours that would have otherwise been spent on commutes, and protected the environment from 7,892 tons of pollutants.

The Mobile Network Exchange wants this substantial savings trend to continue throughout the rest of the year. If each of the more than 136,000 2013 National Telework Week pledges committed to the telecommuting lifestyle for one year, they would save a total of $614,196,865 million dollars.

Mayer, stand corrected. Though the sting of Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer’s telecommute ban reverberated during National Telework Week 2013 like a penny in a tin can, no amount of Mayer maligning could dissuade pledge productivity.

In fact, 52% of employees were more productive during Telework Week and “no organizations found employees were less productive.” This is a powerful testimony against the internal anti-telecommute Yahoo! memo that claimed, “Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home.” Maybe Mayer should take the National Telework Week Pledge in 2014.

Snowquester Surprise. A tech giant telecommute 2013 telework reportban and a Northeast blizzard couldn’t hinder the effectiveness of telecommute pledges. The early March snowstorm, dubbed the Snowquester, closed many federal buildings and schools during the middle of National Telework Week, but telecommuters didn’t have to stop working because of a government shutdown.

Federal employees continued to work at home during the storm, making up 82% of all 2013 Telework Week pledges. The practically of telework policies, especially during natural disasters, is further illustrated in that 80% of pledges in snow-sacked areas already had policies in place for staffers to work from home. One post-telecommute pledge survey respondent said,

I was able to telework one additional day due to the snowstorm. If I had not teleworked that day, I would have been on administrative leave and accomplished no work.

Looking Ahead. The most promising data from the 3rd Annual Telework Week Report demonstrates the lasting influence of National Telework Week participation. The post-telecommute pledge survey revealed that 66% of management teams are more welcoming and encouraging of flexible and remote work arrangements.

Did you participate in National Telework Week 2013? Will you take the pledge next year?

image credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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