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Partnering To Make A Difference

Because the issues facing State governments and their customers today transcend all natural, political and organizational boundaries, it follows that today’s solutions must too! Through partnerships with public, private, non-profit, interstate and international organizations, the Arizona Department of Administration found that we can make the difference if we all work together. 

 

Contents:

Background

Program History

Public/Private Partnerships


Background:

 

Telework/Telecommuting is a powerful management option that allows selected employees to work from home, or a State office location closer to home, one or more days a week.   Telework offers a more productive working environment with fewer distractions that results in better job performance, improved employee morale and job satisfaction, reduced absenteeism and sick leave usage.  Telework can also help retain valued employees and help recruit top quality new people while improving the quality of life in our communities.

The State of Arizona is certainly as diverse an organization as you could ever hope to find, with more than 21,000 employees in Maricopa County, representing 100 very different agencies, residing in 265 separate buildings. That’s why we often say "if the State can successfully implement telework - any organization can." The State of Arizona’s Telework Program has served as a model and resource for employers internationally for nearly two decades. Telework works, and the State of Arizona is just one good example!  

Telework is such a success for the State of Arizona that every agency is mandated to implement the State’s program with the goal of having 20% of State employees in Maricopa County actively participating.  Currently 4,328 employees, or more than 20 percent of the State workforce in Maricopa County, are teleworking. We estimate that State teleworkers annually drive 5.25 million fewer miles, generate 175,000 fewer pounds of air pollution, and endure 181,000 fewer hours of stressful driving time.  Because of State teleworkers, we can all breathe a little easier.


Program History:

 

The State of Arizona Telework Program has grown in three distinct phases:

1.  A Pilot Phase (1989 - 1993) In the fall of 1989, the State of Arizona partnered with AT&T to demonstrate that telework is a viable travel reduction strategy for both public and private employers charged with reducing employee trips by the 1988 Omnibus Air Quality Bill.  Four State departments and AT&T worked closely to write telework policies, a telework agreement and a helpful guide to telework.  The two employers then selected and trained qualified participants.  The State of Arizona and AT&T teleworkers, their supervisors and coworkers were surveyed after six months of telework.  The pilot was successful in showing that telework is a viable travel reduction strategy which may also provide increases in employee productivity, efficiency, and job attitude, as a consequence of an improved work environment.  AT&T and the State of Arizona published the results of their joint telework pilot and provided sample program materials as a model for future telework programs in Arizona. 

2.  A Formal Program and Development Phase (1993 - 1996) The State of Arizona Telework Program was formally established by Executive Order in 1993.  Thirteen additional State agencies were invited by the Governor to join the program.  In May of 1996, the Arizona Department of Administration commissioned an overall evaluation of how telework was working for the various stakeholders: senior management, mid-management, employees, legislators and the general public.  Objectives for the evaluation were determined in consultation with the Governor's Office.

3.  The Mandated Program Phase (1996 – Present) In response to an enhanced commitment to air quality in 1996, Arizona’s Governor Fife Symington mandated all State agencies to implement the State of Arizona Telework Program with the goal of having 15% of their employees in Maricopa County actively telework.   After achieving the 15% goal in May of 2002, Arizona's Governor Jane Dee Hull expanded the State telework mandate to 20% active participation by Executive Order 2002-08

In 2003,  Governor Janet Napolitano reaffirmed the State's 20% telework mandate by Executive Order and cited telework as a business strategy to increase productivity, reduce turnover and attract qualified new employees to State service.  The business case for telework made sense to State managers who combined telework with other flexible workplace options like compressed work weeks and flextime to attract and retain employees.  Agencies also trained employees with critical functions to telework as a business continuity strategy and encouraged full time virtual teleworking to reduce office space costs.  By 2007, State agencies, boards, and commissions reported that more than 20% of State employees in Maricopa County were participating in the State of Arizona Telework Program.

In all three phases, the State of Arizona Telework Program assumed an active role promoting telework in the community as a viable management option, assisting other organizations to follow the State's example, and leveraging the State’s resources for the common good of all its citizens.

Public/Private Partnerships:

 

In June of 1991, the State of Arizona was invited by the Regional Public Transportation Authority to staff a workshop for more than 60 travel reduction coordinators.  The workshop featured the AT&T and State of Arizona Telework Pilot as a model for future programs in Maricopa County.  Following the workshop, 13 companies responded that they were ready to develop telework programs and would like to join a regional telework council to assist them in designing and implementing their programs.  As a result, the State of Arizona became co-founder of the Arizona Telework Advisory Council  (AzTAC) a 501(c)3.  The State of Arizona served on the AzTAC board of directors until the International Telework Association and Council was fully formed.  

In coordination with AzTAC during January of 1992 and November of 1993, Arizona’s Governor invited hundreds of Chief Executive Officers, Mayors, City Managers and Community Leaders to attend a breakfast briefing on telework.  The briefing was followed by a full day workshop where over 150 coordinators were trained in how to implement telework in their organizations.

In October of 1993, Arizona entered into a joint venture with the states of Oregon and Washington (The Telework Collaborative) to accelerate the acceptance and adoption of teleworking arrangements among public and private organizations.  The collaborative wrote and produced several videos including a management briefing and a stand-alone teleworker/supervisor training package.  Later in 1996, the states of California and Texas joined the Collaborative to produce The Manager’s Telework Kit and a Telework Online Certificate Program at Washington State University.  The online certification program consists of two courses: "Understanding Telework—An Online Course for Employees" and "Managing Teleworkers—An Online Course for Employers." Working together, the Telework Collaborative has helped hundreds of organizations in 26 states and 14 foreign countries with telework information and assistance.

Business Strategy
Program Basics
Employee Q&As
Supervisor Q&As
Common Myths
Pilot Prototype
1996 Evaluation
Telework Training
Awards
 
 

 

 

 

State of Arizona Telework Program

100 N. 15th Avenue, Suite 431

Phoenix, Arizona 85007

(602) 542-7433