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Telework Can Benefit Business and the Environment

As Orange County employers evaluate their work-from-home policies, there are many factors to consider. Making telework part of a rideshare plan can result in benefits for the business and the environment.

According to a recent OCTA survey, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic may have lasting effects on public attitudes, working arrangements, and travel behaviors. OCTA worked with True North Inc., a market research firm, to conduct a scientific survey during July 2020. According to the survey, COVID-19 impacts have been dramatic. Among survey respondents:
  • Unemployment increased from 4% to 18% between February and June.
  • Working from home increased from 0.8 days per week to 2.6 days per week for the average employee.
  • Working exclusively from home increased from 12% to 47% of employees
  • Reductions in commute and non-work trips have resulted in large decreases in transit, active transportation, and rideshare usage
  • Reductions in transit, active transportation, rideshare, and driving are occurring for a mix of reasons – higher unemployment, remote work, and fewer opportunities for non-work trips
  • Once the pandemic is over, about half of employees prefer to maintain (or increase) the percentage of days they work remotely.

The benefits of implementing and increasing a remote work program can be substantial for employers and include:
  • Improving South Coast AQMD Compliance – Companies with 250+ employees regulated by Rule 2202 can add remote working as a strategy to enhance their rideshare plan.
  • Improving Employee Morale – Eliminating commutes reduces stress, often resulting in happier, better-rested employees with higher productivity and better employee retention.
  • Saving Money – An employer can save an average of $11,000 per year per half-time remote worker according to a report provided to Congress by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.
In addition, research indicates that working from home results in cleaner air. According to UCI News, an international team of experts, including those from UCI, performed an assessment of carbon dioxide emissions by industry, transportation and other sectors from January through June that revealed that this year’s pandemic-related travel reductions resulted in a 9 percent decline from 2019 levels. The drop in carbon emissions has been due mainly to transportation, the researchers found, as fewer people are driving to work and traveling by air.
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