As you leave your house and are about to get in your car, feeling the stress and anxiety of the inevitable nightmare that is your commute to work, you notice your neighbor’s car is still in her driveway.  That’s odd, she always leaves before you.  Is she feeling too ill to go to work?  No, your neighbor is working from home today. She is a teleworker, and employees like her are saving companies money, showing increased productivity and growing in number.

All teleworkers are avoiding the round-trip commute to work (which averages over an hour in the DC-area) and most, according to studies, report higher job satisfaction than their office-bound counterparts.

Survey results from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ State of the Commute show that the percentage of regional telework has more than doubled since 2001. Incidence grew in nearly every demographic and occupational segment in which telework is feasible.

Global Workplace Analytics also found those who work at home tend to put in longer hours and are often more productive.  They also have found that when formal telework plans are put in place, telework can positively impact a business’ bottom line.  For example, American Express employees who teleworked produced 43 percent more business than their non-teleworking counterparts.  On a more local level, most of us remember the multiple snow days last winter. Federal employees in Washington who worked from home during 2014’s four official snow days saved the government an estimated $32 million.

Recognizing an opportunity to both help businesses and employees reap the rewards of telework and fulfill their mission to help mitigate traffic congestion, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) have partnered to provide assistance to businesses in Northern Virginia through the Telework!VA program.  Telework!VA is a FREE program that helps businesses in Virginia begin or expand a telework program.  Through this VDOT/DRPT partnership, Telework!VA staff can help create a customized telework strategy, develop telework policies and agreements, identify positions best suited for telework, assist with developing budgets and develop technology plans. They also provide on-site training for managers and employees, offering guidance on the management and work strategies that will maximize a telework program’s full potential and avoid some of the challenges working remotely can present.

For more information on the Telework!VA program, please visit their website at http://teleworkva.org/NOVA.