To Make A Difference
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
2003, Governor Janet Napolitano reaffirmed the State's 20% telework
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.
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.
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
October of 1993, Arizona entered into a joint venture with the states of
Oregon and Washington (The
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
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.