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How to calculate telework savings

Jan. 21, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments

Snow thick enough to affect travel, such as the snow that blanketed the Washington D.C. region on Jan. 21, often inspires talk of telework, a practice that can keep agencies productive during weather events, but which is also difficult to measure.

A new guide offers some pointers on figuring the return on investment: Agencies should calculate the savings from telework using a variety of factors such as savings on real estate, transit subsidies and energy savings, according to a Jan. 21 report produced jointly by the Mobile Work Exchange and the Office of Personnel Management.

Taking into account a broad range of savings can help agencies plan for initial telework costs and budget resulting savings accurately. It also allows them to determine if telework efforts in a given office are cost effective, according to the report

“Agencies should strive to accurately measure ROI by gaining knowledge from best practices like those presented here, seeking advice from other agencies that have experience in this area, and gaining buy-in from leadership to obtain more resources when needed,” the report said.

The Agriculture Department was able to save nearly $2 million in fiscal 2012 in transit subsidies because it accurately measured the financial savings from teleworkers in its budget, according to the report.

Agencies should also count commuting-related reductions in greenhouse gas emissions as their contribution to governmentwide efforts to reduce emissions 28 percent by 2020, according to the report.

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