By Miriam Foster

Telework is one of the most desired benefits among employees and in today’s competitive job market, because telework can attract and keep the most talented and desired workers.  Virginia’s Telework Week is a great time for businesses to start a telework program or learn how to better manage teleworking employees in an existing program. 

The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) and local commuter assistant program partners, like DATA, are encouraging businesses across Virginia to allow qualifying employees to work from home at least one day during Telework Week, March 4-8.

Many of today’s most successful businesses have discovered a powerful way to improve their bottom lines – telework.  If your employees can work with minimal supervision, have good time management skills and meet their deadlines, they may be a great candidate for telework.  Teleworkers can work anywhere, but most work from home one to two days a week, and have improved work/life balance.

Stress from the daily grind of commuting to and from work manifests both physically and mentally, which has a direct impact to your business by decreasing productivity and increasing staff turnover. Telework Week is an ideal time to enhance your company’s policy to include information about flexible commuting options that can be a win-win for your business and employees.

Another advantage of including telework as part of your overall business strategy is the telework tax credit.  Virginia businesses can get a tax credit of up to $1,200 per employee, and as much as $50,000 per organization for eligible telework expenses. These expenses include purchases like computers and connectivity equipment; hardware, software and telecommunications equipment; fees for delivery, installation and maintenance; and up to $20,000 for a telework assessment. Visit teleworkva.org to learn how to file for this state tax credit.  

Telework can also be a crucial part of your continuity of operations (COOP) plan during natural disasters, inclement weather and other emergency situations.   

DRPT’s Telework!VA website has all the tools you need to start and manage a telework program.  Businesses can access a wealth of documents, resources, and e-learning modules for implementation and training.  Employees considering telework can get tips on selling the idea to management, and helpful information on successful teleworking. 

For business located in Northern Virginia, Telework!VA offers free technical assistance.  Our telework experts can meet with you to answer questions and support your organization in developing a customized telework strategy for free.  And for a limited time, businesses on the I-66 corridor that start or expand telework programs with the assistance of Telework!VA may receive up to $10,000.  Go to teleworkva.org and complete a request form to have a Telework!VA representative explain how your business can receive the I-66 $10,000 incentive.