Lt. Governor Cox has announced that the state is implementing a statewide teleworking program following the success of a pilot project that saw great success.
During the pilot program, 136 employees from four state agencies worked at least 3 days a week from home while reporting metrics on performance and commutes to state officials. The Department of Administrative Services, which oversaw the pilot, measured a 20% improvement in overall employee performance, and concluded that the participating employees were able to save 273 pounds of C02 emissions.
“I am thrilled to see this teleworking program expand to all state agencies,” Lt. Governor Cox said. “Rolling out expanded teleworking as an option for many more state employees means that everyone wins. Employees win. Managers win. Our air wins. Rural wins. The taxpayer wins,” he continued. “It is time to see our state workforce transition to this more sustainable, efficient, balanced model.”
The program aims to increase building capacity and efficiency, boost employee recruitment, retention and satisfaction, provide job opportunities for rural Utah and decrease emissions that contribute to air pollution, while also improving employee performance.
If successfully scaled to the state employee workforce, up to 2,555 currently commuting state employees may become eligible to participate in the telework program in the coming months, which could amount to 1,300 pounds of monthly emissions saved, 63,900 square feet of building space made available for repurpose or downsizing, potentially move 200 positions off the Wasatch Front, and over the first year retain nearly 60 current employees who would have otherwise left positions with the state.
“For the last five years, we have zeroed in on increasing the efficiency of state government,” said Kristen Cox, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget. “This program not only increases the efficiency of employees, who accomplish more when they can work from home in close collaboration with their managers and co-workers -- but it also drastically increases the efficiency of state-owned and operated spaces. By decreasing the amount of money we spend on maintaining unnecessarily large workspaces, we save the taxpayer’s dollars for important investment in programs that can positively impact their lives.”
During the pilot program, participating employees for the Department of Administrative Services, the Department of Technology Services, the Department of Human Resource Management and the Department of Insurance relinquished permanent assigned work spaces as these departments created temporary shared workspace models designed to increase building capacity and efficiency. Under the new permanent teleworking program the new West Valley State Office Building, approved for purchase by the State Legislature in 2019, will be retrofitted with shared “hoteling” workspace to be used by teleworking employees.