California Telework Savings Could Be Huge

California Telework Savings Could Be Huge

California could save $1.5 billion a year if state government employees with telework compatible jobs worked at home just 2 days a week. Employees could save up to $7,600 a year, and enjoy a week of free time they’d otherwise waste commuting. The environment would benefit too because 75,000 tons of greenhouses gases wouldn’t be created. Details will be presented at the Work Anywhere Symposium 2011 in Sacramento on September 22nd.

California accounts for a quarter of nation’s most traffic congested large cities. Add earthquakes, budget woes, and poor air quality and telecommuting can’t be consider just a perk – it must become a strategic imperative for the State.

According to our just-completed research, 2-day-a-week telework would give California

  • $800 million in increased productivity
  • $170 million in real estate savings
  • $500 million in absenteeism and turnover costs
  • 400,000 barrels of oil valued at $33 million
  • 75,000 tons of greenhouse gases – the equivalent of taking almost 14,000 permanently off the road
  • 163 million vehicle miles and the related road maintenance costs
  • Improved continuity of operations in the event of a disaster

State employees would save too. Depending on how far they travel to work, how they travel, and a variety of other factors, the average employee could save between $2,300 and $7,600 a year and gain back more than a week of free time – time they’d have otherwise spent commuting.

All that is good news for the folks who still have to drive to work, too, because every car that stays in the garage reduces congestion by three to five times.

Using the latest Census data, and assumptions culled from hundreds of government and private sector sources, we’ve developed models that quantify the economic, environmental, and societal potential of telecommuting for the U.S and for the U.K. and Canada.

Our custom models have been used by company and community leaders to quantify the extent to which telework and workplace flexibility can reduce greenhouse gases and petroleum usage, expand the labor pool, save money, improve work-life balance, increase employee loyalty and turnover, reduce absenteeism, increase productivity, reduce highway congestion and traffic accidents, and much more.

Our research and whitepapers have been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, and dozens of other publications.

To learn more, join us,  Scott McNealy (founder and former CEO of Sun Microsystems), California Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (16th Congressional District), and noted telework experts from the U.S. and Canada at the Work Anywhere Symposium 2011  in Sacramento on Thursday, September 22, 2011.



  1. Duke Province Says: August 29, 2011 at 9:50 am

    As long as the State of California hires IT managers that have no background in IT, these good ideas will never happen. When I brought up good and sound new ideas, these managers stared at me, not understanding what I was talking about.

  2. Camellia Lane Says: September 1, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    That’s true Duke, but you have to keep trying! I’ve had the same problem, not with I.T. (although I know EXACTLY what you mean), but with managers in general. Many of them are still living in the 1930s and just don’t “get” how Telecommuting can benefit THEM. Some of them think their employees would just goof off (if they require work to be turned in, how can they be goofing off?), when in fact it’s the MANAGERS who know THEY are the ones who would be goofing off since most of them have no real tasks to accomplish at work, so they think everyone will! It’s crazy. Fortunately I’ve been telecommuting for years, but then I do have a production oriented job, I have tasks to finish each week or I can’t get my monthly duties done, and if I don’t get my monthly duties done I’m up a creek since they all start over again the following month. GREAT type of job for telecommuting because I HAVE to keep up. I’m also in a routine like most people would be, I have a place for my desktop computer, not a laptop, so I can’t wander all around town — although if I’m getting my work done, who cares if I wander around town? That’s the point really, isn’t it? It’s supposed to allow more freedom to do work tasks anywhere, any time. In any case, just like recycling, telecommuting is going to be mandatory in the future because there won’t be any more room on the highways, there won’t be enough office space, and technology will be so advanced that email won’t just be text, it’ll be just like a phone call where people will talk face-to-face (I know we do that now but it isn’t on every desktop yet) so there really won’t be any difference from everyone being in the same room, except it won’t take any time, or gasoline, or highway pavement, etc. to get us there. I won’t be in the workforce anymore at that point, but others will. Don’t worry, we’ll get there :o)

  3. “Depending on how far they travel to work, how they travel, and a variety of other factors, the average employee could save between $2,300 and $7,600 a year and gain back more than a week of free time—time they’d have otherwise spent commuting.”

    This could also produce additional savings in the form of decreased medical care utilization if that freed up time is spent exercising rather than commuting.

  4. […] See the full blog post at the Telework Research Network. […]

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