News: Fed Telework Could Save $11 Billion a Year

For Immediate Release

Date: September 17, 2013 (updated September 20, 2013 with new ACS numbers)

Kate Lister, President
Global Workplace Analytics

Federal Telework Could Save over $11 Billion a Year and Reduce Greenhouse Gases by the Equivalent of Planting 16 Million Trees

(SAN DIEGO CA) A white paper just released by Global Workplace Analytics reports that telework, if effectively implemented by the federal government, could save taxpayers over $11 billion a year. Greenhouse gas emission would be reduced by the equivalent of planting 16 million trees. And government employees would be more engaged and effective.

Legislation passed in 2000 required federal workers to telework “to the maximum extent possible.” The Telework Enhancement Act passed in 2010 added rigor to the earlier legislation. Yet the latest Status of Telework in the Federal Government report showed that while 32% of federal employees are deemed eligible for telework, only 6% do so on a regular basis. And while private sector telework grew 42% between 2006 and 2012 and state government telework grew 60%, federal telework actually declined 2.4%.

The potential savings from telework were calculated using Global Workplace Analytics’ Federal Telework Savings Calculator™.  It includes over 100 variables and more than 600 calculations. The creator of the model, Kate Lister, recently presented it to federal telework leaders in an on-line event that was organized by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

The assumptions behind the model are based on the firm’s database of over 4,000 case studies and other documents. Using conservative assumptions, it accounts for a wide range of telework impacts including those on real estate, productivity, absenteeism, turnover, continuity of operations, transit subsidies, healthcare, employee commutes, vehicle miles traveled, greenhouse gases, traffic accidents, and much more. Additional home energy usage and extra trips taken on telework days are just a couple of the mitigating factors accounted for in the model.

The white paper, Federal Telework: Return on Taxpayer Investment, is available at Please email Kate Lister if you prefer to receive a copy of the paper directly.

Global Workplace Analytics specializes in helping organizations and communities estimate the triple bottom line impact of telework, workplace flexibility, and other emerging workplace strategies. Their independent research has been cited by news organizations and other researchers around the globe.

The white paper was sponsored by, a global provider of interactive, customizable e-learning designed to maximize the potential of distributed and flexible work strategies.


Kate Lister, President
Global Workplace Analytics
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Kate North, Vice President of Global Development
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