What problem does it solve? NJ Government spends millions of dollars per year for office space. Many non-client, non-public facing, non-public safety jobs can be performed from any location so long as access to telecommunications and information technology is available. NJ is in the 2nd longest metro commute time in the USA (US Census Bureau). Allowing telecommuting will reduce costs for NJ, reduce frustration and costs for employees, and reduce carbon footprints. What is your solution and who does it apply to? Many jobs that are neither public facing nor client facing and do not have a public safety component (i.e. corrections officers, State Troopers, etc.) do not require physical presence to have work be done. Utilizing available technology and existing resources to reduce costs for both the employer (NJ Government) and employees, telecommuting for 50-95% of the work will reduce stress and turnover, increase moral, decrease absenteeism, and reduce overall costs while increasing productivity (Andrea Loubier, Forbes, 7/20/17). What is the anticipated impact? With the average per square foot cost/yr of $38.52 (Loopnet.com) in the city of Trenton, less space will be needed daily, reducing construction and operation costs. Reductions to employee stress, decreased absenteeism, and increased morale will reduce employee turnover while boosting productivity. Technology already purchased (cell phone, computers, etc.) will minimize additional outlays while allowing the same more increased work to be accomplished. Fewer face to face meetings will also result in decreased need for conference space, since one-to-one and one-to-many meetings can be handled efficiently with technology already purchased. Decreases to expenses by employees by reducing commutation will also result as well as decreased carbon footprints and improvements to area traffic for residents, visitors, and employees. Using 5 staff members, the combined vehicle savings by implementing this program will be $21,135 with 3,640 commuting hours saved and a CO2 reduction of 107,166 pounds.
I support the idea of telecommuting. I think it would be beneficial to continue to have bi-weekly or monthly one on one, in person meetings with your supervisor and regular monthly or quarterly staff meetings with your team. In addition to all of the other benefits of telecommuting, I think telecommuting will force us to go green/digital and use far less paper, particularly in Divisions that deal with receiving and sending both regular and certified mail.
Again, I support the idea of telecommuting. However, one of my concerns is protecting and maintaining the confidentiality of documents being sent back and forth for review via e-mail, SharePoint, etc. Is there a system in place already to maintain the integrity and confidentiality of our documents?
My staff are field staff and some might find it better to work from home and use their own vehicle to do field work vs. coming to the office to get a state car to drive back home. Given the confidential nature of our work, they would need to ensure they had a space where they could do their work without others listening in. Often, telecommuting work is task-based to ensure they are working and a policy would need to be in place to ensure staff are available during core hours.
Yes, some jobs are so computer and grant focused they could be done at home.
This is the SEVENTH idea in the top 20 for working from home / telecommuting!!!
The reason that most workers came to an office is to improve team work and consistency of the product that they produce. If everybody worked from home, people might not work as a close team.
Telecommuting is a recognized best practice in private industry, it should be made available to eligible state employees.
There are definite benefits for both employee and employer and it would be great to have work from home as an option for state employees. https://www.inc.com/scott-mautz/a-2-year-stanford-study-shows-astonishing-productivity-boost-of-working-from-home.html
I completely support this concept for two reasons. My position spends a substantial amount of time in the field and the rest writing reports. Having the opportunity to work from home as a parent of two small children would benefit my schedule greatly. This is especially true for situations where childcare is a hardship.
Impactful and feasible! We have Rutgers coworkers who do the desk job we do under a telecommuting policy. As a working mum having the flexibility not to commute just 2 days a week would greatly improve my work/life balance by giving me back 5 hours a week I spend commuting (I spend up to 3 hours a day in my car commuting from south jersey to Trenton) to my family instead. The state is not competitive in this regard with other employers in the health industry who have telecommuting options.
Managers looking to create a flexible work culture should avoid a one-size-fits-all approach; dictating exactly how these policies may be used can make them less effective. Talk with your team about your expectations, so there are no surprises later on. For example, if you set a policy that employees may arrive late or leave early when they need to, do you want them to give you advance notice? Of course, trust is going to be a big factor. you should trust them to get the work done.
I certainly support this idea! Many federal offices have already adopted this model and statistics on productivity are available.
The challenges will be developing new models for employee productivity, economic impact of the exodus on local Trenton businesses and staff accountability concerns.
How easily this can be implemented is going to vary from state department to state department, however that should not stop something like this from moving forward. Currently all state departments do not offer employees the same programs (e.g. some have alternative work week programs, while others do not) and I expect that the telecommute option will be no different. That being said, for those departments and offices where it makes sense, it should occur.
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