"Telework”, or telecommuting, involves working remotely from locations other than a central workplace. Employers worldwide have used telework to reduce business costs and improve productivity, while employees who telework reduce expenses and increase the ‘work-life’ balance. Transportation industry professionals say telework has the potential to reduce congestion and add environmental benefits.
The Merrimack Valley Planning Commission with Congestion Mitigation Air Quality funds from MassDOT conducted a Regional Telework Initiative to develop in-house knowledge and expertise on telework ‘Best Practices’ and measure telework’s potential in the region.
MVPC partnered with the Merrimack Valley Transportation Management Association and The Junction Transportation Management Organization, in particular to conduct outreach to the region’s employers and to generate interest in a telework Pilot Program. The Planning Commission retained Elham Shirazi, a nationally-known telework expert, to assist employers interested in telework.
MVPC with its partners found that the most successful publicly-sponsored telework initiatives were in states, regions or cities where:
• chronic air quality problems jeopardize federal transportation funding, leading to federal mandates to reduce travel and air pollution;
• chief executives in both public and private sectors implement telework in their organizations, set goals and monitor progress;
• there are high concentrations of jobs suitable for telework;
• commuting is costly, time-consuming and few viable commuting options exist.