AT&T Employee Telework Initiative

Following the implementation of the Clean Air Act in the United States, AT&T created its Employee Telework Initiative. In addition to achieving compliance with the Clean Air Act, AT&T hoped their program would provide employers with low-risk solutions for employees and help employees to balance work and family life. Before introducing the formal program to the entire corporation, AT&T conducted telework pilot projects in three regional offices. The results of these pilots helped to inform the design of the corporate-wide program. Upon its official launch, it was decided that no single department would run the initiative – instead, different departments were responsible for overseeing various aspects of the program. Employees were made aware of the program via internal and external communications packages which emphasized the benefits of teleworking, like increased productivity, increased job satisfaction, and decreased commuting time. Any employee interested in telework would initiate the process by contacting their manager and asking for permission to participate. From there, employees would use a specially designed web portal that would guide them through the necessary steps to begin teleworking. A standard teleworking agreement was used as a written commitment, confirming the employee’s participation. As the program continued to evolve, AT&T increased efforts to remove barriers connected to telework by improving telecommunications technology and increasing flexibility around formal work schedules and required office appearances. Annual telephone surveys were conducted with a random sample of company employees to compare overall changes in employee satisfaction, time spent commuting, fuel and energy saved, work productivity, and frequency of telework. In the year 2000, eight years after the program began, teleworkers avoided 110 million miles of driving to the office, keeping 50,000 tons of CO2, 220,000 tons of hydrocarbons, 1.7 million tons of carbon monoxide, and 110,000 tons of nitrogen oxides from being emitted.

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