Expanding Federal Telework Could Save $12 Billion a Year

Research looks at real estate, transit subsidies and continuity of operations.

Expanding federal telework programs doesn't just help federal employees and managers; it also could benefit taxpayers by as much as $12 billion per year, according to a new report

Released last week by Global Workplace Analytics and the Telework Research Network, the report estimated that well-implemented federal telework programs could save taxpayers between $6 billion and $12 billion per year. Those figures were calculated based on a set of assumptions about the impact of telework on real estate, absenteeism, turnover, productivity, transit subsidies, continuity of operations and health care.

The report estimated savings based on default assumptions from GWA’s Federal Telework Savings Calculator, which is continually updated based on more than 4,000 case studies and articles.

The GWA research drew from the Office of Personnel Management’s annual telework status report, the latest of which includes data from 2011, less than one year after the 2010 Telework Enhancement Act was passed. “Since additional employees will presumably have become eligible and begun to telework since that time, our savings estimates may be understated,” the GWA report said.

More specifically, if 88 percent of the 32 percent of employees OPM deemed eligible to telework in 2011 did so two days per week, the government would save roughly $6 billion per year. This breaks down to real estate savings of up to 30 percent, productivity increases of 12.5 percent, a 4 percent decrease in turnover, and a 3-day average decrease in absenteeism.  

On the high end, where 45 percent of federal employees were deemed eligible to telework, and 88 percent of them did so 2.5 days per week, agencies could save roughly $12 billion per year, the study found. This breaks down to real estate savings of 50 percent, productivity increases of 15 percent, a 10 percent decrease in turnover and a 6-day decrease in absenteeism.

Both of those scenarios also would result in transit cost savings based on the frequency of telework, as well as continuity of operations savings of at least 1 day per year and a 1 percent decrease in health care costs, the study found.

A report released by the Government Accountability Office in July found that agency leadership had not committed to implementing and tracking telework’s progress, despite the requirements of the 2010 Telework Enhancement Act. Most agencies lacked the technological capabilities and leadership to effectively monitor telework statistics, GAO found.

The Telework Research Network is offering a lite version of its Federal Telework Savings Calculator to agencies at no charge during the 2014 telework data call, hoping to provide a tool to effectively measure and report telework progress and cost savings out to OPM and Congress. Mobile Work Exchange last week also unveiled a return-on-investment calculator that can help agencies more effectively measure and track telework’s benefits and cost savings.  

“Unless there is a common framework for measuring success across government – a way to benchmark performance – agencies will be operating in the blind,” the GWA report stated. “Without goals, standards and consistent methods of measuring success, telework risks becoming just another failed experiment and government risks falling behind the rest of the world.” 

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.