Fed Telework Could Save $11 Billion and 16 Million Trees Worth of Greenhouse Gases

For Immediate Release

Date: September 6, 2013
Kate Lister, President
760-703-0377 (US Pacific Time)

Federal Telework Savings Could Top $11 Billion & the Greenhouse Gas Equivalent of Planting 16 Million Trees

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 39% between 2006 and 2011 and state government telework grew 54.6%, federal telework actually declined 1.7%.

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, presented it last week to an invite-only group of 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 http://GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com/whitepapers.

Global Workplace Analytics and the Telework Research Network conduct independent research and consult on emerging workplace issues and opportunities. Their work has been cited by news and research organizations around the globe. The company specializes in helping organizations and communities estimate the triple bottom line impact of telework, workplace flexibility, and alternative workplace strategies.