AT&T's Telework Program

Atkyns, R., Blazek, M. & Roitz, J. (2002). Measurement of environmental impacts of telework adoption amidst change in complex organizations: AT&T survey methodology and results. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 36, 267-285.
More and more AT&T employees are taking advantage of the latest computer technology by working from home. AT&T has been developing their telework program since 1992. Business can now be conducted around networks instead of buildings. This net-centric structure allows employees to work from home, customer locations, hotels, and anywhere else that a virtual office can be established. With today's technology teleworkers feel part of their business's community, which was a challenge in the past. AT&T has conducted employee surveys since the deployment of the telework program. Results show a definite increase in teleworking and job satisfaction. The benefits of teleworking are related in part to the flexibility it offers employees. Employees are no longer constrained by traditional business hours and relocating is not an issue. Time that would have been spent commuting now goes toward work activities, thus increasing productivity.

According to the 2002/2003 AT&T employee telework research 17% of AT&T managers now work full-time in a virtual office, which is nearly double the 9% who did in 2001. Part-time teleworking is also an option; 33% of employees telework at least once a week. The benefits of teleworking extend to the business, employee, and society. AT&T estimated that the telework program generated $150 million in productivity increases, real estate savings, and retention. The benefits of a teleworking program extend beyond that of company savings. Employees list a number of immediate teleworking benefits: increase in productivity, a better balance between work and family, more personal time, and financial savings. Employees also recognize the environmental benefits that come from teleworking. Even though employees are more prone to cite financial benefits, 59% recognized that one of the major advantages of teleworking is its positive effect on the environment. Telecommuting can have a great impact on the environment. The US Department of Transportation estimates that one third of all vehicle miles traveled result from commuting. So as more companies adopt telecommuting programs the collective reduction in CO2 emissions can be immense. In 2002, AT&T teleworkers avoided commuting 150 million miles to work, which prevented thousands of tons of pollutants from being released into our air.
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