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Georgia Department of Education

Plugging into an effective workplace strategy

The Georgia Department of Education (DOE) embarked on a telework program in 2003 to provide employees with more flexible schedules and to fulfill the goals of the Governor's Work Away program, which calls for at least 25% of employees using some form of flexible work schedules.

DOE initiated a pilot telework program to understand how employees could work at home to improve productivity, reduce traffic congestion and minimize air pollution. The experience with teleworking was compelling enough that managers allowed more employees to start teleworking than originally projected.

Some employees were assigned to work from their homes full-time in order to be more accessible to assignments that take place away from the Atlanta office. Many new employees cite teleworking as the primary reason they accepted job offers from DOE, proving the value of telework as a recruitment strategy. Teleworkers and their supervisors report that productivity has increased among those working from home, either full or part-time. In fact, 75 percent of teleworkers reported increased productivity -- an average of 20 percent when compared with productivity of office workers. And 80 percent of managers reported improvements in the work of their teleworking employees.

Most impressively, DOE was able to reduce costs of leasing office space by approximately $27,000 annually as a result of not having to provide office space for 40 newly-hired employees.

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