Telework — also known as telecommuting — is one way Fairfax County government is working to improve traffic and air quality. Fairfax began a telework program for government employees in 1995, and it has been growing ever since.
What Is Telework?
The county defines telework as allowing employees to work from a home-based office or local work center during normal work hours, instead of commuting.
Currently, more than 1,000 county employees telework an average of one day a month. Fairfax County is the first jurisdiction to reach — and then exceed — the regional goal set by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments to have 20 percent of the eligible workforce teleworking one day per week or more by the end of 2005.
What Are the Benefits?
Telework is a boon to the environment, reducing commuter traffic, noise, emissions and stress. According to one EPA estimate if 10 percent of the nation's workforce teleworked one day a week, the country would avoid the frustration of driving 24.4 million miles, breathe air with 12,963 tons less air pollution and conserve more than 1.2 million gallons of fuel each week.
Telework is a good business decision. It has been shown to increase productivity and job satisfaction, and it offers a way to maintain business functions if a disruption prevents workers from coming to the main work site.
Spread the Word!
By now we’re convinced that telework is a win-win proposition — good for the environment, for the county and for our employees — and we're excited about expanding our program through our Fairfax Teleworks initiative.
We’ve had a lot of help. Other government organizations, national nonprofit groups, local corporations and others have been quick to share what they've learned — that telework is a “great way to work” — and we'd like to do the same. If you would like additional information, send an e-mail request to the telework program manager at firstname.lastname@example.org