Telecommuting

Telecommuting

What problem does it solve? The suggestion is to review field worker positions within the Departments to determine which would be ideal candidates to move to a telecommunication model. The federal government has been pushing the idea of telecommunication for some time now. This practice promotes the health of the environment as well as the health and safety of employees. In this economic climate, it’s all about saving money and the added bonus is going green. Times are changing and we need to change with the times. What is your solution and who does it apply to? This would apply to field workers in all Departments. The current practice of renting large office buildings is a waste of space, furniture, internet/telephone line service, technical equipment and most of all rent money. We used to work from home but this stopped in 2005. It seemed that our office was more productive when we were able to work from home. There was less of a backlog. If we moved back to a telecommunication model, the transition would be fairly smooth and wouldn’t cost anything being that we already have the tools to make it happen, i.e. cell phone and laptop as long as we have access to email and all of the computer drives. Thus, it would not involve a detailed action plan. What is the anticipated impact? It would increase the productivity of field workers who are now weary from driving long distances every day of the week, sometimes two hours one way to appointments. The time would be saved in commuting to the alternate office on office days. Even though this does not figure into the daily hours worked, it doesn't make sense when you have a laptop and cell phone. Plus, in a busy office, there are many more interruptions which affect productivity. There are a limited number of state cars and telecommuting would save the state gas and wear and tear on the vehicles. This is important because state cars are limited and that is a tool that is required by some to perform the essential duty of the position, which is travel to field appointments. Our job description does not indicate that we need to provide a vehicle just that we need to possess a valid NJ driver’s license. For most of us who utilize our own cars, it would save money and we could lease instead of forced to buy. Less accidents.

Points

Very good idea as it save time and effort in traveling to work. Also saves fuel resource and traffic on the road. If I am allowed, I can work couple days a week easily and all monitored so it is best to have the option to work from home.

One challenge would be that you will have individuals who cannot complete their work from home for whatever reason. These individuals should be specifically addressed and possibly need to work from an office location if that means they get their work done. This should not affect everyone, ie; don't punish workers as a whole because you have individuals who cannot work independently. Treat them as grown ups and give them clear expectations of their job requirements and performance.

I completely agree with you here too. The employee would need to be dealt with as an individual.

Definitely Carla, we would still need to go out in the field to complete assignments. In my office we are generally in the field 4 days a week.

I think this is a feasible idea and could greatly benefit the State and workers. The majority of workers can be more productive if given the option to work from home a few days a week and/or as needed. There should be an expected number of hours to be worked and an expected rate of job productivity as well. Obviously some job aspects can't be completed at home (ie; seeing people at programs or their living locations) but the paperwork associated from those visits could be done remotely.

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