Find Out How Much Money Telework Is Saving Your Agency

New tool tracks return on investment for federal telework programs.

Federal managers now have access to a new calculator that can more effectively measure telework’s return on investment.

Mobile Work Exchange on Tuesday launched the Telework ROI calculator, which helps agency managers determine the cost savings and benefits telework is providing across their agencies, in areas such as real estate, business continuity and productivity.

“Agencies need to understand the telework return on investment for agencies, not just teleworkers,” said Cindy Auten, general manager for Mobile Work Exchange. “While we see anecdotal evidence of telework success every day, to present a strong business case for telework and mobility, we need concrete numbers.”

More specifically, the tool uses basic information to calculate telework ROI using six commonly identified telework and mobility value factors: transit subsidies, environmental factors, continuity of operations, productivity, employee retention and real estate and utility costs.

The calculator takes into account an agency’s telework participation and frequency combined with specific government statistics to estimate savings and returns in each of those six areas.  Productivity, for example, is calculated based on telework productivity statistics from the Defense Department as well as the average daily federal salary, while real estate savings are calculated based on the General Services Administration’s estimate of the average cost per workstation.

A report released by the Government Accountability Office in July found that agency leadership has not committed to implementing and tracking telework’s progress, even despite a 2010 law that requires agencies to expand telework policies. Most agencies lacked the technological capabilities and leadership needed to effectively monitor telework statistics, GAO found.

Mobile Work Exchange started working with several agencies earlier this year in developing the new calculator. The hope is that the new tool will not only help agency managers better quantify the benefits of telework, but also realize the cost savings, which could in turn increase management buy-in.

“We collectively built a model that will help agencies easily estimate hard numbers for actual and hypothetical scenarios and help enable them to accurately report telework ROI to OPM and Congress,” Auten said.