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For Immediate Release
January 12, 2021
For more information, contact:
Global Workplace Analytics
U.S. Employers Stand to Save Over $500B a Year with a Combination of In-Office/Remote Work Strategies
(SAN DIEGO, CA, January 12, 2021)––If the estimated 48M full-time employees in the U.S., who hold a remote-work-compatible job (45 percent) and say they would like to work remotely at least weekly (82 percent), worked from home an average of 2.5 days a week:
In April of 2020, still early in the pandemic, Global Workplace Analytics predicted it would be the tipping point for remote work and estimated that 25-30 percent of the workforce would work from home multiple days a week when the threat was over. Now, nearly a year into the world’s largest work-from-home experiment, that estimate is looking low. “Senior leaders and middle managers have long been the biggest obstacle to successful remote work programs,” says Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, a research-based consulting firm that has been helping organizations adopt remote work strategies for over fifteen years. Now, having experienced it themselves, the headlines suggest many if not most are far more open to the concept. “Experience changes hearts,” says Lister, “but, facts change minds and a successful change initiative requires both.”
The facts about potential qualitative and quantitative benefits of a blended hybrid/remote work strategy are provided in a new report from Global Workplace Analytics—The Business Case for Remote Work for Employers, Employees, the Environment, and Society. The report was sponsored by Design Public Group, a subsidiary of HNI, and the leading provider of home office furniture and stipend management services.
“Many like to make the conversation about remote work polar—either everyone is in the office or everyone is remote,” says Lister. “In reality, the majority of U.S. employees prefer a mix of both with half-time being the average desired frequency.”
The majority of employers prefer the hybrid model too. A mix of in-office and remote work mitigates many of the problems organizations are struggling with during the pandemic—maintaining connections between colleagues and with the company culture, onboarding new employees, and mentoring young workers.
“In consulting with companies on setting their remote employees up for success, many are understandably concerned about the costs of providing employees with technology and furniture for their home offices,” says Matthew Lieb, President of Design Public Group. “This report finds that outfitting employees with a home office only costs around $670/employee/year, which is more than offset by the savings of nearly $11k/employee/year.”
“Out of adversity, comes opportunity,” said Benjamin Franklin, and “this is our opportunity to fundamentally reframe the where, when, and how of work in a way that’s better for people, planet, and organizational performance,” says Lister.
About the Report
The free 32-page Business Case for Remote Work report includes over fifty footnotes in support of the savings estimates. It draws on Global Workplace Analytics’ proprietary databahttps://designpublicgroup.com/work-from-homese of over 6,000 case studies, research papers, news items, and other documents related to the who, what, when, where, why, and how of work. The quantitative benefit estimates come from Global Workplace Analytics’ Remote Work Savings Calculator© (formerly, Telework Work Savings Calculator), which has been publicly available on the company’s web site for more than a decade. It includes over 125 variables and performs over 600 calculations. It was vetted by the U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO) in 2016 when they were searching for tools to help quantify the impact of telework in government. GAO’s report to Congress referred to the calculator as “comprehensive and based on solid research.”
About Kate Lister and Global Workplace Analytics
Kate Lister is president of Global Workplace Analytics, a research-based consulting firm that has been helping employers optimize remote work and other workplace strategies for more than
a decade. Kate has written or co-authored five business books including the U.S. chapter of “Telework in the 21st Century” (Edward Elgar, 2019), a multi-country peer-reviewed study on remote work. She was one of only three witnesses invited to testify before Congress in a recent hearing about remote work in government. Her perspectives on how COVID-19 will change the way people work are among the most widely quoted in the world and have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and dozens of other respected news outlets.
About Design Public Group
Design Public Group (“DPG”), a subsidiary of HNI, is a 16-year-old B2B and B2C furniture distributor based in Los Angeles, and a technology and operations leader within the industry. DPG owns and operates three B2C e-commerce furniture sites and sells to consumers around the globe. DPG has an extensive B2B furniture business that has provided furnishings for more than 60 Fortune 500 companies. In response to company needs to easily provide employees with contract-grade, ergonomic home office furniture, while also managing stipend application and reporting, DPG launched a first-of-its-kind employee home office furniture website. DPG partners with companies to build a custom website where their employees can shop from hundreds of home office furnishings. DPG offers contract-grade, ergonomic desk, chair, and storage bundles starting at less than $1K total. Employees apply stipends directly and pay any balance out of pocket.
Copyright © 2021 Global Workplace Analytics, All rights reserved
For more information contact:
Kate Lister, 760-703-0377 (San Diego CA), Kate@GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com
Dr. Anita Kamouri, 949-854-2239 (Orange County CA), email@example.com
SAN DIEGO, 2 June, 2020 — Seventy-six percent of global office workers and 82% of U.S. office workers say they want to continue to work from home, at least weekly, when the pandemic is over (approximately 75 million U.S. employees). But only 16% (19% in the U.S.) want to say goodbye to the office forever, with most preferring a bit of both. Half of the time in each place seems to be the sweet spot in the U.S. and slightly less in Europe. These and other findings from Iometrics/Global Workplace Analytics’ Global Work-from-Home Experience Survey—one of the largest post-COVID surveys on the topic to date—will lead to profound changes in office space needs, workplace design, workforce policies and practices, and employer, employee, and environmental outcomes.
Eighty-eight percent of the 2,865 survey respondents (97% in the U.S.) said they were working at home during the pandemic. For over half of employees (57% globally, 67% in the U.S.), this was a new experience. “Having had a taste, even under less than ideal conditions, employees are saying they want more. The genie is out of the bottle and it’s not going back in,” says Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics who partnered with Iometrics on the survey.
“If employees got what they wanted, the impact on commercial real estate would be massive,” says Lister. “Using back-of the envelope numbers and conservative assumptions, we estimate work-from-home post-COVID-19 could reduce the need for U.S. office space by over a billion square feet.” “It won’t happen all at once,” says Kamouri. “The need for offices to accommodate social distancing will absorb much of that excess in the short run, but longer term as workplaces are redesigned for the future of work post-COVID and leases come up for renewal, we will surely see the impact.”
The full 67-page survey report can be downloaded at no charge here. It includes geographic, generational, industry, and employer size data cuts and reveals information about work-from-home success factors, employee and manager satisfaction, productivity at home versus the office and more. Some of the more interesting findings include:
• Only 6% say they would not want to work from home in the future
• When working alone, which accounts for 57% of an average worker’s day, employees say they are productive 75% of the time at home, compared to only 63% of the time at the office
• When working with others, which accounts for 43% of a worker’s day, employees say they are equally productive at home versus in the office (61% vs. 60% of the time respectively), but they are more satisfied when collaborating in person (61% satisfied with collaborating at home vs. 87% at the office).
• Distractions and interruptions account for 78 minutes a day when people are at the office and 43 minutes a day when they work at home. “This one really surprised us,” says Lister. “Even with the unusual challenges to working from home right now—spouses, children, pets—employees say they are less distracted than when they are at the office.”
• The majority of employees (60%) would be willing to give up their assigned desk at the office in exchange for the opportunity to work from home some or all of the time. “This preference demonstrates the importance of flexibility in the overall employee value proposition and the role that working from home can play for both employees and the creation of future workplaces that are agile and efficient”, says Kamouri.
“Right now, global employers are scrambling to prepare their workplaces and work practices for a return to the office, but they know things are not going back to ‘normal’, not now, and probably not ever,” says Kamouri. “This also will also present an opportunity for companies to capitalize on the cost containment opportunities that remote work presents.”
“The resulting change in how and where people work will have far-reaching implications for the built environment, sustainability, labor markets, transportation infrastructure, regional planning, tax and labor laws, and more, says Lister. “It’s never going to be work as we knew it again.”
About the Global Work-from-Home Experience Survey
Over 2,800 global employees participated in the on-line survey between March 30 to April 24, 2020. Survey statistical comparisons are reported with a minimum confidence level of 95% (p<.05).
Click here for details about the survey, answers to frequently asked questions, links to webinars where survey results have been shared, and more.
The survey was supported, through distribution to its members, by industry associations around the world including Workplace Evolutionaries (WE), a community within the 25,000-member International Facilities Management Association focused on the future of work.
About the Researchers
Anita Kamouri, Ph.D. is Vice-president and Co-Founder of Iometrics, a workplace services firm that helps organizations succeed with remote work practices and next-generation workplace strategies. Iometrics has been focused on helping clients create great workplace experiences for over 20 years. With a doctorate in Organizational Psychology, Anita is an expert in workplace survey research and analytics. Her firm has developed some of the largest survey databases in corporate real estate to inform data-based planning, workplace modeling and measuring the human capital impacts of workplace change. Anita provides the expertise to unlock insights about workforce trends and develop workplace solutions that have a positive impact on people, business, and the planet. She has written numerous white papers and articles, and presented at many industry conferences on workplace strategy innovation.
Kate Lister is a recognized thought leader on trends that are changing the who, what, when, where, and how of work. She is president of Global Workplace Analytics a research-based consulting firm that has been helping public and private sector employers optimize the employer, employee, and environmental outcomes of remote work and other workplace strategies for more than a decade. Kate has written or co-authored five business books including, most recently, the U.S. chapter of “Telework in the 21st Century” (Edward Elgar, 2019), a multi-country peer-reviewed study on remote work. Her perspectives on how COVID-19 will change the way people work are among the most widely quoted in the world and have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and dozens of other respected news outlets.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Kate Lister, Kate@GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, 760-703-0377
SAN DIEGO, 1 April, 2020 — Over half of U.S. employees (75 million workers) hold jobs and have responsibilities that could be performed, at least in part, from home. More than 80% say they would work from home (WFH) if they could yet less than 4% of employees actually do half-time or more [Global Workplace Analytics special analysis of American Community Survey]. While almost 70% of employers offer the option to some of their employees [Society for Human Resource Management], only 7% offer it to all or most [Bureau of Labor Statistics]. That is, until now.
Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, who has been studying remote work trends and providing workplace strategy advice to employers for more than a decade, predicts the recent crisis will be a tipping point for employee work-from-home programs. She forecasts 25M to 30M U.S. employees will regularly work from home within the next two years (currently only 5M WFH half-time or more).
“From the employer side, there is greater recognition of the overall business benefits of having robust work-from-home capability and readiness,” says Pat Turnbull, President of Workplace IQX, a consultancy focused on helping businesses grow through strategic, organizational and workplace transformation.
“From the employee side, the genie is out of the bottle,” says Lister. “Having tasted the experience, most will not want to give it up.”
Other accelerants, predicts Lister, will include:
• Increased scrutiny around disaster preparedness from investors/shareholders
• Reduced fear and resistance from managers once they’ve had the chance to WFH themselves
• Greater c-suite awareness of the WFH potential for reducing real estate and travel costs, particularly given the threat of another recession
• Greater societal awareness of the environmental benefits of reduced commuter and business travel on sustainability once they’ve seen the actual impact WFM can have
“This crisis has forced employers to do, inside a week, what Fortune 500 companies typically take months or even years to roll-out across their global portfolios,” says Dr. Anita Kamouri, Co-Founder of Iometrics, who has been helping organizations succeed with remote work practices and next-generation workplace strategies for two decades.
“Organizational, technological, and cultural change takes time,” says Kate North, VP of Workplace Strategy for Colliers International. “But suddenly, my clients are finding themselves in the deep end of the work-from-home-readiness pool,” says North whose perspective comes from twenty years of experience in workplace design and strategy.
“As unfortunate as the circumstances may be, we find ourselves faced with an unprecedented opportunity to study the work-from-home experience,” says Lister. That’s why we, together with Iometrics and the Workplace Evolutionaries (WE, an international community of practice within the 25,000-member International Facilities Management Association) have just launched a global survey to better understand and predict what the recent crisis will mean to the future of how and where people will work.
Results of the Global Work-from-Home Experience Survey will help community and organizational leaders:
• Identify what is and isn’t working for people working from home
• Prioritize strategies for keeping employees productive and engaged during this crisis
• Anticipate and plan for the changes this experience will have on how and where people work in the future
Employees can participate in this important research by taking the Global Work From Home Experience Survey here. Employers can use the survey with their own employees. More information about this option and answers to frequently asked questions is available here.
About the Survey
The Global Work-From-Home Experience Survey was developed and will be analyzed by workplace thought leaders, Dr. Anita Kamouri (Co-Founder of Iometrics), and Kate Lister (President of Global Workplace Analytics) at no charge to anyone. Both have been involved in work-from-home and strategic workplace research and consulting for more than a decade.
The survey is being supported, through distribution to its members, by global associations including the 25,000-member International Facilities Management Association (IFMA) and Workplace Evolutionaries (WE, a community within IFMA).
The survey is GDPR-compliant. No personally identifiable information is being collected from respondents. Survey results with a minimum statistical confidence level of 95% (p<.05) will be publicly available at no cost.
For more information contact:
For immediate release
Contact: Kate Lister – 760-703-0377
San Diego, 16 March — According to the latest data, 43% of the federal workforce is eligible to telework. Doing so during the Covid-19 pandemic will collectively save $570 million a day in what would have otherwise been lost productivity.
“The current administration’s turn-around on telework has cost the public billions,” says Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, a research and consulting firm that has been helping private and public sector employers deploy work-from-home strategies for more than a decade. Continuity of operations in the event of a disaster or pandemic was the original impetus for the government’s mandate that every federal employee work at home to the maximum extent possible over twenty years ago.
Yet, as recently as this month, even as the rest of the world was rapidly deploying work-at-home measures to stay off a pandemic, our administration continued its assault on the practice by recalling the last of the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) 12,000 teleworkers.
SSA is not the first agency to face telework program reversals in this administration. In 2018, the Department of Agriculture, a poster child for program success, recalled tens of thousands of work-at-home employees. Several others followed suit claiming ‘performance issues’, though when queried, the government offered no evidence for that claim.
In addition to unsubstantiated allegations of teleworker performance problems, supporters of the various agency rollbacks claim a lack of evidence that the government’s telework program has demonstrated any benefits. “I guess they haven’t read their own publications (Note 1) which document over a billion dollars in saving from just eight agencies,” says Lister.
“If those federal workers who both can and want to work remotely did so just half of the time, the government could save up to $4B a year,” says Lister whose Telework Savings Calculator™ was referred to as “comprehensive and based on solid research” in a GAO report to Congress ((GAO-16-551, Better Guidance Could Help Agencies Calculate Benefits and Costs).
“Using telework as a political football, as the current administration has done in recent years, is unconscionable,” says Lister. “Sanity has at least temporarily prevailed and eligible teleworkers are now being allowed to work from home, but given the current administration’s disdain for the concept, I will be surprised if the cutbacks don’t return when the dust settles. Long before COVID-19 arrived and long after it’s gone, allowing employee to regularly work remotely will be the right thing to do for people, planet, and agency performance.”
Note 1) Status of Telework in the Federal Government: Report to Congress, Federal Work-Life Survey (FWLS), and the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS).
About Global Workplace Analytics and Kate Lister
Kate is president of Global Workplace Analytics (GWA) is one of the nation’s leading authorities on work-at-home. She has helped government agencies, communities, and private sector employers not only create remote work programs but quantify their impact. Kate has written or contributed to five business books. Most recently, she authored the U.S. chapter of “Telework in the 21st Century” (Edward Elgar). Her firm’s research has been cited by hundreds of publications including the Harvard Business Review, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and many others. Her website offers the most up-to-date information available on the who, what, when, where, why, and how of remote work.
If you would like to talk to Kate Lister, please call 760-703-0377 or email Kate@GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com
Older Press Releases From Global Workplace Analytics
For immediate release
June 4, 2018
Kate Lister, Kate@GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com
(San Diego CA) Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA), Global Workplace Analytics, and Haworth Inc. announced today the release of a report titled, “The OnceAlternative Workplace Strategies Report.” It reveals surprising changes in how and where people work including:
Over 130 organizations representing more than 2.3 million global employees responded to the 2018 survey. The results were compared to longitudinal data from four similar surveys fielded since 2008.
“Unfortunately, the results of this global study indicate a high percentage of companies still see this as a real estate initiative and not an opportunity to reinvent their businesses in deeper and more transformational ways,” said Chris Hood, Director of Consulting EMEA for Advanced Workplace Associates. “Workplace innovation is a litmus test for management quality and leadership. This isn’t about real estate, it’s actually about people and business outcomes.”
“Though slow, industry leaders are beginning to take a less-siloed, more holistic approach to workplace change,” said Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics. “In particular, it is good to see the trend toward more human-centric measures of success. Companies are finally realizing what’s good for people is good for their bottom line.”
“There is tremendous value in longitudinal studies, as they truly capture long-term trends. We started this study back in 2008, in the middle of the recession when cost savings were perceived as #1 benefits of these programs,” said Dr. Gabor Nagy, Research Program Manager at Haworth, Inc. While now, work/life balance has become #1 benefit, only time will tell whether we will see a reversal of this trend when the next recession comes.”
About the Researchers/Authors
Advanced Workplace Associates(AWA) is a multi-disciplined and independent management consultancy that helps large organizations get the most from their workplace investments, practices and management. Founded in the UK in 1992, AWA’s global clients include Morgan Stanley, Ernst & Young, Willis Towers Watson, AXA, Royal Bank of Scotland, Mintel, Asda, the Home Office, The UK Border Agency, and Lloyds TSB. Contact: Chris Hood, firstname.lastname@example.org
Global Workplace Analyticsis a research and consulting organization that helps public and private sector employers establish workplace change goals and quantify the impact of workplace flexibility, mobile work, telecommuting, activity-based working, well-being initiatives, and more. Based in San Diego CA (U.S.), Global Workplace Analytics has collaborated on thought leadership projects with some of the world’s largest providers of architectural, design, and strategy services. Contact: Kate@GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com
Globally, Haworth, Incenriches spaces with award-winning furniture, interior architecture, and technology solutions to help create beautiful rooms and achieve business goals by supporting collaboration and innovation. Research, knowledge, and design are at the center of the company’s strategy and foster a deep understanding of built environments, culture transformations and agile workplace needs. Headquartered in Holland MI (U.S.), the company holds over 400 patents. Their net sales totaled USD $2 billion in 2017. Contact: Gabor.Nagy@Haworth.com
The research was additionally supported by Workplace Evolutionaries, a Community of Practice within the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA).
To download a free copy of the report, visit our Whitepapers page
For immediate release
June 22, 2017
For more information contact:
115 Percent Increase in Telecommuting since 2005, According to Global Workplace Analytics Report sponsored by Flexjobs
The 2017 State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Employee Workforce Report Is The Most Up-To-Date
and Comprehensive Report on Prevalence, Growth, and Trends in Telecommuting
BOULDER, Colo, June 22, 2017—Today, Global Workplace Analytics and Flexjobs announced the release of their 2017 State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Employee Workforce report, the most up-to-date and comprehensive data analysis available on the state of telecommuting in the United States, and recent trends. Among the report’s significant findings: the number of people telecommuting in the U.S. increased 115 percent between 2005 and 2015.
Key findings of the 2017 State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Employee Workforce report include:
“Telecommuting offers compelling benefits for economic and job growth while also better addressing current societal, environmental, and infrastructure challenges stemming from our current workforce norm,” said Sara Sutton Fell, Founder and CEO of FlexJobs. “ And while more companies are acknowledging this formally, this data confirms what we’ve been observing at FlexJobs for the past ten years, which is that more and more companies–whether they’re private, public, nonprofit, or start-up — have recognized the bottom-line benefits of telecommuting and are increasingly incorporating this type of flexible work arrangement into their business strategies,” Sutton Fell concluded.
The 2017 State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Employee Workforce report includes information on the following:
Trends in the telecommuting workforce over the last ten years
“The trend is unmistakable. Leading employers are cashing in on the people, planet, and profit benefits of allowing their people to choose where they want to work,” said Kate Lister, President of Global Workplace Analytics.
The findings in this report are based on a special analysis of the latest U.S. government data commissioned by FlexJobs and conducted by Global Workplace Analytics using, among other tools, its proprietary Telework Savings Calculator™. Unless otherwise noted, all telecommuter statistics refer to non-self-employed people who principally work from home (telecommute) at least half-time.
For more information and a copy of the report visit: https://globalworkplaceanalytics.com/2017-state-of-telecommuting-in-the-us
To request additional information, please contact Kathy Gardner at email@example.com or Kate Lister at Kate@GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com.
Global Workplace Analytics is an evidence-based consulting firm that helps employers and communities quantify, measure, and promote the people, planet, and profit impact of workplace strategies that improve employee flexibility, engagement, well-being, and more. They are the leading authority on telecommuting trends around the world. The firm’s principals, Kate Lister and Tom Harnish, are highly regarded speakers, writers, and thought leaders on the future of work. They have written four business books and scores of articles for major media outlets. Their research has been cited by the New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and hundreds of other outlets. Their proprietary tool for quantifying telework impact, the Workplace Savings Calculator™ was described in a 2016 GAO report to Congress, as “comprehensive and based on solid research.”
FlexJobs is the leading online service for professionals seeking telecommuting, flexible schedule, part-time, and freelance jobs. With flexible job listings in over 50 career categories, and opportunities ranging from entry-level to executive and freelance to full-time, FlexJobs offers job seekers a safe, easy, and efficient way to find professional and legitimate flexible job listings. Having helped over two million people in their job searches, FlexJobs has appeared on CNN and Marketplace Money and in TIME, Forbes, Fortune, and hundreds of other trusted media outlets. FlexJobs’ Founder & CEO Sara Sutton Fell has also launched two additional partner sites, Remote.co and 1 Million for Work Flexibility, to help provide education and awareness about the viability and benefits of remote working and work flexibility. Sutton Fell is also the creator of The TRaD* Works Forum (*Telecommuting, Remote, & Distributed), dedicated to helping companies leverage the benefits of telecommuting, remote and distributed teams.
For immediate release
August 11, 2016
For more information contact:
GAO ENDORSES WORKPLACE SAVINGS CALCULATOR™
FOR QUANTIFYING FEDERAL TELEWORK ROI
CARLSBAD Calif – The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), in a report to Congressional requesters, identified Global Workplace Analytics’ (GWA) Employer Workplace Savings Calculator™ as a resource federal agencies can use to help determine the benefits and costs of their telework programs. The report cites Office of Personnel Management (OPM) officials who said the calculator is “comprehensive and based on solid research.”
“Public and private sector employers are desperate to quantify the results of their workplace change strategies,” says Kate Lister, President of GWA. “Our calculators have helped thousands of public and private sector employers do just that.” Based on a proprietary database of over 4,000 research papers, case studies and other documents, the Calculator includes over 125 customizable input fields. More than 600 calculations are used to quantify the employer, employee, and environment impact of telework and other workplace initiatives. A ‘lite” version of the Calculator powered by the same calculations is available free online at http://GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com/roi.
The GAO report, GAO-16-551 titled Federal Telework – Better Guidance Could Help Agencies Calculate Benefits and Costs, was released August 1, 2016.
Global Workplace Analytics is San Diego-based research and consulting firm that specializes in making the management case for emerging workplace strategies. They have created return-on-investment models for evaluating the impact of mobile work, employee engagement, workplace flexibility, hoteling and desk sharing, wellness and well-being, technology provisioning and more. For more background on the Calculator and typical results see Federal Telework-Return on Taxpayer Investment.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 21, 2016
Kate Lister, President
Global Workplace Analytics
Northeast Region Employers Stand to Lose $1.3B Per Snow Day
Carlsbad, CA – Research just released by Global Workplace Analytics estimates a single snow day can cost Northeast region employers over $1.3 Billion in lost productivity. That estimate is based on Global Workplace Analytics’ research about who can, who wants to, and who already does work remotely in the District of Columbia, Philadelphia, New York and Boston metro areas.
“Winter storms are always a wake-up call for companies that haven’t adopted flexible workplace strategies”, said Kate Lister, President of Global Workplace Analytics. “If people are already familiar with working remotely or telecommuting, when the weather stops traffic cold, they can keep right on working.”
Estimates suggest more than 60% of employers allow workplace flexibility for some employees, though very few allow the majority to do so.
Nearly half of U.S. employees could perform much of their work anywhere there is an Internet connection, but less than 3% does so half-time or more (the only frequency tracked by the U.S. Census Bureau).
“Disaster-preparedness is one good reason for the integration of remote work into an organization’s workplace strategy, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg,” says Lister. Global Workplace Analytics’ research shows a typical employer can save more than $11,000 a year for each half-time telecommuter; the result of a combination of increased productivity and reduced real estate, turnover, and absenteeism. “And flexibility is something employees are desperate for,” says Tom Harnish, Senior Scientist at Global Workplace Analytics. “Nearly 80% say they would like to work remotely at least some of the time. Not surprisingly, leading organizations are using it as an attraction and retention strategy.”
Global Workplace Analytics is a research and consulting firm that helps employers understand the business case for emerging workplace strategies that are good for people, planet and profit. Their research on agile workplace strategies is informed by a proprietary database of over 4,000 academic papers, research reports, case studies, and their own public and private sector client work.
Editors Note: Regional data available on request.
For Immediate Release
Date: January 22, 2013
Kate Lister, President
Federal Telework Could Save $14 Billion a Year and Reduce Greenhouse Gases by the Equivalent of Planting 18 Million Trees
SAN DIEGO Calif – Based on data released by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management late last month, Global Workplace Analytics has updated its annual forecast for government-wide telework savings. Based on the latest numbers, if those federal employees both interested (87%) and eligible for telework (47%) did so about twice a week (the average for those who do so regularly) taxpayers could save nearly $14 billion a year and greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by the equivalent of planting 18 million trees. Those annual savings, totaling nearly $16,000 per teleworker, would come from:
“Even existing levels of telework in government can yield savings, states Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics and the lead author on the report. “If effectively implemented in concert with HR, IT, and Real Estate and COOP strategies, the savings from the 8% (169,000) of federal employees who telework regularly could total over $1.7 billion a year.
“The numbers are truly staggering,” says Tom Harnish, co-author of the report. “Between the continual reminders from Mother Nature that telework is essential for continuity of operations and the potential economic, environmental, and employee impact, the public ought to be screaming for more telework in government and elsewhere.”
Legislation passed in 2000 required federal workers to telework “to the maximum extent possible.” The absence of progress on that mandate inspired the Telework Enhancement Act which passed in 2010. It added rigor to the earlier legislation. Yet the latest Status of Telework in the Federal Government report showed that while 47% of federal employees are deemed eligible for telework, less than 8% 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% during the period.
The telework savings were calculated using Global Workplace Analytics’ Federal Telework Savings Calculator™, a model that includes over 100 variables and more than 600 calculations. “We didn’t just throw a few simple calculations together to arrive at our conclusions” said Lister. “The assumptions behind our models, which we have made available to the public since 2008, are based on data from over 4,000 case studies and other documents that we have cataloged over the years. Many in government have seen the model and been impressed by the depth of research that backs it up.” Lister was invited by the Office of Personnel Management to present her firm’s tool to federal telework executives late last year.
Using conservative assumptions, the Federal Telework Savings Calculator™ accounts for a wide range of telework impacts including those listed above as well as employee commutes, vehicle miles traveled, greenhouse gases, traffic accidents, and much more. While agencies can customize their own assumptions, the Calculator defaults to numbers based on government-wide commute habits, wage and benefit levels, absenteeism, turnover, transit subsidy usage, real estate costs and more. Extra home energy usage and trips taken on telework days are also accounted for in the model.
A white paper, Federal Telework: Return on Taxpayer Investment, released by Global Workplace Analytics in September of 2013 offers over 100 footnotes to support the assumptions behind its Federal Telework Savings Calculator™. Both the white paper and the Calculator are available at no charge on the company’s web site. A pro version of the calculator allows organizations and government agencies to account for dozens more potential costs and savings to arrive at a true return on investment.
Global Workplace Analytics specializes in helping organizations and communities estimate the triple bottom line impact of mobile work, workplace flexibility, and other emerging workplace strategies. They have been creating research-based telework and mobile work savings calculators and custom models for private and public sector clients since 2006. Their independent research has been cited by news organizations and other researchers around the globe.
The white paper, Federal Telework: Return on Taxpayer Investment, was sponsored by e-Work.com, a global provider of interactive, customizable e-learning designed to maximize the potential of distributed and flexible work strategies. Their suite of courses are used by over a hundred thousand public and private sector clients around the world.
Editor note: Global Workplace Analytics’ white papers are available free to the public, but require a login. If you are a reporter and would like an email copy of the paper or a link that does not require a login, please contact Kate Lister.
A companion paper, “Obstacles and Opportunities to Federal Telework,” released in November of 2013, is also available for download or email delivery. It is based on survey responses from and interviews with over a hundred federal telework leaders. Click here for the online press release and highlights from that report.
For Immediate Release
Date: November 22, 2013 (figures updated January 14, 2014)
Kate Lister, President
New Report Reveals Why Federal Agencies are Still Struggling With Telework
Insider Perspectives on Obstacles and Solutions
San Diego, Calif., November 22 — According to a report released today by alifGlobal Workplace Analytics, feds continue to struggle with some of the most basic prerequisites to telework success. In spite of legislation requiring it, bipartisan Congressional support for it, and repeated reminders of the need for telework as a continuity of operations strategy from Mother Nature and others, the majority of government agencies aren’t fully on board.
Drawing from anonymous survey responses and off-the-record interviews with leading government executives, the report titled Federal Telework: Obstacles and Opportunities offers an insider’s perspective on what’s working, what isn’t, and what needs to be done to move programs forward (see below for report highlights).
While the report acknowledges pockets of telework success in federal agencies such as the Patent and Trademark Office, General Services Administration, and others, it finds a majority of agencies struggling. “The level of frustration was almost palpable in the more than 300 comments government executives submitted along with their multiple choice answers to our survey”, said Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, the report’s co-author. “While there are many issues to be worked with regard to government telework, the elephant in the room is still management mistrust,” said Lister. It was, by far, the most significant barrier cited by survey respondents (more than 70% felt it had a moderate or greater impact on their agency’s success).
“The hierarchical, command and control nature of government makes it all the harder to make the cultural shift that’s needed to succeed with telework,” said Tom Harnish, co-author of the report.
The other big barriers cited by government insiders included technology (e.g. lack of access to files, outdated hardware, ineffective access to or training in collaboration tools), agency culture, and lack of or inadequate training.
The 32-page report, which includes more than a dozen charts, is available at no charge on Global Workplace Analytics’ web site. A link to all the survey questions and respondent comments is provided in the report.
Global Workplace Analytics has achieved worldwide recognition for its research on alternative workplace strategies such as telework, flexible work, and other emerging work trends. Their proprietary Federal Workplace Savings Calculator™ offers a way for federal agencies to quantify the return on investment of telework, mobile work, and other workplace initiatives.
White Paper Overview & Highlights: (Note, the numbers below represent newer information than is contained in the white paper)
Despite over ten years of increasingly explicit legislation that encouraged, and now requires, telework, less than 8% of federal employees do so with any regularity. Global Workplace Analytics latest white paper, Federal Telework: Obstacles and Opportunities, offers insights from agency leaders on what’s holding telework back and what can be done to move it forward. As in the private sector, the biggest barrier is cultural. Managers need to learn how to manage by results, not presence. Beyond that, federal telework managers say they desperately need better training and better access to collaboration tools such as videoconferencing.
“For a technologically adept workforce in a global, mobile workplace, management styles that were born in the days of sweatshops and typing pools don’t work at best, and sabotage success at worst,” said Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics the author of the white paper. “If government expects to attract and retain top talent and optimize efficiency, it needs to migrate its workplaces and work practices into the 21st century.”
Quotable quotes from survey write-in comments:
“When it comes down to a choice between buildings and people, it’s the people that matter—they’re the productive assets.”
“Technology helps. Even just being able to see one another’s availability on chat, was a big help.”
“Telework opens the door on many topics. It’s not a silo topic. Mobility is in everything we do and as such should be integrated with other policies and organizational goals.”
“The distinctions between mobile work and telework are sometimes polarizing. It ought to be just work.”
“One of the side benefits of telework is that it forces you to get comfortable with technology tools that can make you more effective when you are in the office too.”
“We are living in an increasingly global and mobile world. It would be a rare employee who doesn’t at least occasionally work away from their desk or collaborate with others using technology.”
“There is not enough time for innovation in government. Much of the daily work in government is simply keeping the fires from being too bright. There’s always a new priority.”
“I think the conversation on telework and mobility is important because it opens the door on other conversations the government is too afraid to have. For example, it forces conversation on:
April 19th, 2011
Kate Lister, President, Global Workplace Analytics
760-703-0377 (US Pacific Time)
Canada’s first national telework white paper shows savings of $10,000 for each 2-day-a-week telecommuter.
NOTE: Regional-specific data available on request
(CALGARY) -Twice weekly telecommuting could save Canadian companies, employees and the community over $53 billion dollars a year, reduce greenhouse gasses by the equivalent of taking 385 thousand cars off the roads and save approximately 390 millionliters of gas according to Canada’s first major national whitepaper on telework.
The Telework Research Network in collaboration with Calgary Economic Development released WORKshift Canada: the Bottom Line on Telework today as part of Calgary’s second-annual WORKshift Week. This report shows the latest data and research supporting the financial and environmental opportunity of embracing flexible work for Canada at a national level, including the employee, employer and community benefits associated with teleworking.
Seeing this impressive data compiled into one neat document has us convinced more than ever of the necessity to work within our communities and organizations to start adopting these practices in a very meaningful way, said Robyn Bews, Program Manager for WORKshift. This paper not only clearly supports the bottom-line benefits for the commuter, it hits employers over the head with supportive facts they can no longer ignore. Every commuter in Canada should be sitting in their boss’s office tomorrow morning with this paper as a discussion point.
Canadian employers can see savings of $10,000 per two-day-a-week telecommuter annually. Telework not only impacts employers; employees who telework can also expect savings between $600 – 3,500 per year through reduced commuting and work-related expenses.
Additionally Canadian companies could realise annual average savings due to reduced turnover equating to over $1.8 billion. They will likely see an increase of 20 per cent in productivity, a seven per cent reduction in attrition and increased employee empowerment and morale.
Four out of 10 Canadians hold jobs that could be done at home, at least part of the time. Eight in 10 would work from home if they could. Yet, only about three in 100 do,says Kate Lister, principal researcher and lead consultant at the Telework Research Network. If the rest of those with compatible jobs and a desire to do so worked from home just twice a week, the national savings would total over $53 billion a year and the greenhouse gas reduction would equate to taking the three out of 10 Montreal commuters off the road. Telework should be a no-brainer. There’s simply no quicker, easier, and more popular way to solve labor shortages, reduce energy consumption and pollution, save money, and so much more says Lister.
WORKshift Canada: the bottom line on telework was compiled using census data and analysis of over 400 case studies, research papers and other documents related to telework. The whitepaper looks at the economic, environmental and societal implications of telework.
For more information call Kate Lister, Principal Researcher and Lead Consultant at the Telework Research Network 760-703-0377 (PDT).
Note to Editors: Regional data available on request
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 5, 2011
Kate Lister, President, Global Workplace Analytics
Seven Six Zero-703-0377 (US Pacific Time)
Kate AT GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com
Traffic Congestion Reduction Equivalent To Taking 2/3 Of London Workers Off The Roads
Analysis Based on UK Government and Private Sector Data
Even 2 day per week telework, by those who could and want to, would take the equivalent of 2/3 of London commuters off the roads.
LONDON – UK companies that allow employees to work from home just 2 days per week on average realise a 20% increase in productivity, save 15% in real estate costs, and see a 7% reduction in absenteeism according to a new study by the Telework Research Network.
The report shows that whilst 2/3 of UK jobs are compatible, employers are lagging behind and not taking the opportunity. Although 12.8 per cent of the population (including the self employed) work mainly from home, only 4.9 per cent of the employee labour force do so. The UK ranks 12th among EU nations in percentage of employees who regularly work at home.
The report, titled ‘The Shifting Nature of Work in the UK–Bottom Line Benefits of Telework’, concludes that laws which promote home-based working and other forms of workplace flexibility simply as a special accommodation are outdated. In fact, according to the study, companies that have integrated telework as a strategy have found it is good for business, good for employees, good for the environment, and good for the economy.
Andy Lake, Editor of Flexibility said, “Government needs to lead the way. Using the Global Workplace Analytics’ model, for example, we found that twice weekly telework among the UK’s 430,000 office-based central government civil servants and contractors could reduce the nation’s deficit by over £1.3 billion per year, mainly through savings in property costs and increased productivity.
According to Principal Investigator Kate Lister, “Across the UK, if those with compatible jobs and the desire to do so worked at home just two day a week, it would be the equivalent of taking 2/3 of London workers off the road. Individual, company, and community savings would total over £32 billion a year.”
Global Workplace Analytics’ analysis, sponsored by Citrix Online UK, was conducted in cooperation with Flexibility.co.uk and Wisework Ltd.. The report is available for download as a PDF here.
Flexibility.co.uk is the online journal of flexible working. Founded in 1993 and online since 1997, flexibility.co.uk carries news, opinions, research, how-to guides and case studies to help organisations implement smart/flexible working.
Wisework Ltd has successfully implemented teleworking programmes for a wide variety of clients, helping them overcome organisational and management challenges and achieve significant business benefits.
Global Workplace Analytics, located in San Diego California, has synthesized hundreds of case studies and other documents on telecommuting and related topics. Their workplace flexibility models have been used by hundreds of company and community leaders throughout the U.S., the U.K., and Canada. The research has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, and other publications worldwide.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 8, 2011
Kate Lister, President, Global Workplace Analytics
Seven Six Zero-703-0377 (US Pacific Time)
Kate AT GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com
San Diego CA (USA), February 8, 2011 – According to the Global Workplace Analytics, if the 41 million Americans with telework-compatible jobs worked from home just one day during National Telework Week (February 14-18), U.S. savings would total $772 million including:
Plus the environment would be spared 423,000 tons of greenhouse gas – the equivalent of taking 77,000 cars off the road for a year.
Inspired by the success of Telework Day, decreed by then Virginia Governor Tim Kaine in 2009, advocacy organizations throughout the country have joined the effort to raise awareness of the environmental, economic, and societal benefits of telework. Over 14,000 have already pledged to participate.
“The savings above are just the tip of the iceberg, says Kate Lister, principal researcher of the Global Workplace Analytics an organization that specializes in evaluating the financial impact of workplace flexibility. “If you add the many employer, employee and community benefits, once-weekly telework could save the nation $350 billion a year and potentially eliminate our oil imports from both Libya and Kuwait.”
For companies, those benefits include increased productivity, reduced office space, and lower turnover and absenteeism. Global Workplace Analytics’ free web-based Telework Savings Calculator™, shows that companies could save over $6,500 per once-a-week teleworker. “We’ve built a conservative model,” says Tom Harnish, senior scientist at the Global Workplace Analytics. The assumptions are based on a synthesis of hundreds of studies and real life examples. They recognize that not everyone wants to or can work from home, that not all driving is eliminated, that home offices use energy too, and that occasional telework offers only minimal office space savings.”
But even part-time telecommuting can make a big difference explains Citrix Online president Brett Caine, “We put a global remote work or workshifting’ policy in place several years ago. Workshifting is a term we coined that means to conduct work wherever optimal. This has afforded us the opportunity to recruit and retain key talent globally as well as increase our capacity without growing facilities and the costs associated with that. For instance, although we’re significantly expanding our workforce, our new campus will have 10% fewer seats. By allowing just 10% of our team to workshift, we can avoid more than $2 million in facility-related costs.” To show its commitment to transforming the way people work, the company has given all eligible employees the option to workshift during Telework Week.
Hundreds of company and community leaders throughout the U.S. and Canada have used the Telework Savings Calculator™ to quantify the bottom line impact of telework.
Global Workplace Analytics is a consulting and research organization that specializes in evaluating the bottom line impact of workplace flexibility. Its principals co-authored the popular press title, Undress For Success – The Truth About Making Money at Home (Wiley, March 2009), a book that’s been praised by environmental, worklife, and telework experts.
Editor Note: Regional impacts are available on request.
Relevant White Papers:
Workshifting Benefits: The Bottom Line
This 23 page paper examines the bottom line benefits of telework for individuals, communities, companies of various sizes, and the U.S. as a whole.