With funding from the Washington State Department of Transportation and advice from 75 employers, the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council will develop common standards for telework. Derek Sheppard of the Kitsap Sun has more:
Often, the idea of telework comes with some reservations. Will companies and employees miss out on the spontaneous creativity that trickles down next to the water cooler? What about slackers? Who will middle managers manage if there's no one around? The focus, (Poulsbo City Council Member and telework advocate Ed) Stern said, is finding the right employees who can produce "deliverables," so there's a definable product they can show for their time at home. And the idea isn't proposing wholesale abandonment of a company's workplace.
Stern hopes the employers who participate commit to allowing select workers at least one day at home every two weeks. Companies should think about the benefits of allowing certain employees to work from home, Stern said. It allows workforce expansion without additional office space, results in better employee retention, reduces congestion and carbon emissions and gives workers more time with their families.
....Bruce Agnew, Director of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute's Cascadia Center said telework is experiencing a resurgence of interest, and can be part of a larger effort to reduce traffic and carbon emissions that includes effective mass transit, peak-hour tolls and ride-sharing....The state's aggressive effort to reduce greenhouse gases could help explain the renewed interest in telework, he said. "The quickest way to do that is eliminate a day or two of commuting to work," he said.
Stern is right on the money in highlighting "deliverables." If teleworkers can deliver documented, valuable work product laboring from their domiciles or other off-site locations, employers should welcome the results, and the considerable benefit to the employee.
Telework can be a powerful tool for employee retention.
Now, please excuse me. I have to fix a smoothie.
"Telework Cuts Congestion, Boosts Productivity," KOMO-AM 1000, Seattle, 9/16/08.
"Slow But Steady 'Telework Revolution' Eyed," Cascadia Prospectus, 9/26/07.