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www.FlexWorkSB.com

Traffic Solutions to Launch the FlexWork Santa Barbara Pilot Program
In April 2004, SBCAG Traffic Solutions selected Telecommuting Advantage Group (TAG) to launch the FlexWork Santa Barbara Pilot Program. TAG is a leading telecommuting and flexible work schedule technical consultant that works with both large and small companies, government agencies, universities and hospitals to develop, implement and monitor FlexWork programs. Through a new FlexWork Santa Barbara Pilot Program, the Traffic Solutions is offering free consulting services to organizations in Santa Barbara County that are considering starting or expanding FlexWork for their employees. The primary goal of the program will be to reduce congestion along the Highway 101 corridor by decreasing commute trips during peak periods. Qualified candidates for the pilot program will receive individually tailored consulting services from a nationally recognized FlexWork consulting company at no charge.  Click here for more information.

FlexWork SB Phase I Program Participants and Project Timeline

The first phase of the Flexwork Santa Barbara program ran from 2004 - 2006. Traffic Solutions and TAG worked with the following organizations during the FlexWork Phase I program:

  • Cottage Health. (Telework)

  • Veeco (Telework)

  • Superconductor Technologies (All Flexwork)

  • UCSB (All Flexwork)

  • The City of Santa Barbara (All Flexwork)

  • The County of Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department (Telework)

  • Goleta Water (All Flexwork)

  • Yardi Systems (All Flexwork)

  • SBCAG (All Flexwork)

For in-depth case studies and statistics from the Phase I program view The FlexWorkSB Phase 1 Final Report .

Traffic Solutions is now recruiting employers for the FlexWork Phase II Pilot Program.

Telecommuting - A Work Option:
Telecommuting simply means performing your normal work duties at a location away from the conventional office. This remote location can be your home or an office closer to home. Telecommuting can occur in many different forms. Most telecommuters do it once or twice a week. Some telecommuters do it nearly every day, rarely venturing into the office. And some people just telecommute occasionally, in order to meet an important deadline without office interruptions.

The Benefits of Telecommuting:
According to a recent survey (
www.telecommute.org), 19.6 million people telecommute at least one day per month in the U.S. That's an impressive 10% increase over last year. The survey also found that employers save a remarkable $10,000 per telecommuter in reduced absenteeism and retention costs. Additionally, the average telecommuter decreased his or her commute distance by 1,800 miles per year.

A well designed telecommuting program benefits the employer, the employee and the community by increasing productivity, making employees happier, and reducing automobile trips:

Telecommuting Benefits

The Employer The Employee The Community
Increased productivity Decreased commute time, costs & frustration Increased neighborliness
Reduced turnover Increased flexibility and control over work environment Reduced air pollution
Decreased overhead for office and parking spaces More quality time with loved ones Decreased traffic congestion
Improved recruitment and retention   Enhanced economic competitiveness

What Kinds of Jobs and Tasks are Suitable for Telecommuting?
Many different jobs lend themselves to successful telecommuting. The key is not in the job itself, but in the functions and tasks which the employee will be performing. Many jobs require at least some writing, reading research, editing, working with data (entry, processing, coding, etc.) or talking on the phone. In general, telecommuters should perform tasks that don't require significant face-to-face communication, can be accomplished independently and have clearly defined products.

Who Makes a Good Telecommuter?
Telecommuters should be self-motivated, proven, results oriented performers with strong communication skills. They need to achieve their work goals and objectives with a minimal amount of supervision and must be able to accomplish specific work tasks within a predetermined amount of time.

Defining the Successful Telecommuter

  • Has little need for face-to-face contact with co-workers or customers.
  • Has access to quiet area or office space at home free from interruptions.
  • Has access at home to needed equipment.
  • Is a self-starter and able to work with little supervision.
  • Reports to a supervisor who manages by results, not be surveillance or time clock.
  • Works for someone who trusts him or her.

How are Telecommuters Managed?
Managers of telecommuters should be skillful, results-oriented managers who have an ongoing mutual trust and respect with the telecommuters that they supervise.

There are also several software companies that have developed products to simplify the management and performance review of telecommuters. For example, check out the services provided by Tmanage and ExecutiveWorks.

Common Questions About Telecommuting:
Do I have to telecommute full-time?

One of the advantages of telecommuting is that it's a flexible work option. However, most telecommuters work from home one or two days a week, with time in the office on the other days.

Do I need a computer at home?
This depends on your work situation. The trend is toward using computers for tasks and communication among work groups, but many telecommuters don't use computers at work and thus don't need them to work at home. Others save the work that requires a computer for their days in the office. For many tasks a pad, pencil and phone are all that's required.

How do I get started telecommuting?
Before developing a formal telecommuting program, it is wise to do some research and develop formal policies, as well as written agreements. Additionally, many employers prefer to start off with a pilot program as a way to "test the waters." Fortunately, there is plenty of information about telecommuting available, especially on the web. Some good places to start are
 www.telecommute.org and www.gilgordon.com

Traffic Solutions can also help provide additional resources, such as sample policies and telecommuting agreements to help you develop a successful telecommuting program.

 

 

Traffic Solutions is a division of the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments

©2007 SBCAG Traffic Solutions