ATLANTA – It saves on transportation costs. It reduces demand on Georgia's congested roads. It allows for better work-life balance.
It improves air quality. And now it has its own week – Georgia Telework Week – Aug. 23-27.
The Clean Air Campaign and Governor Sonny Perdue announce Georgia's first week dedicated to promoting the many benefits of telework and ask employers and commuters throughout Georgia to show their support during Georgia Telework Week.
"Transportation has been a hot topic in Georgia this year, but while funding is strained for new transportation projects, telework gives us the immediate ability to reduce peak travel on our existing roadways," said Kevin Green, executive director of The Clean Air Campaign. "For many jobs, work should be a thing you do, not a place you go."
With new, stricter air quality standards to be revealed in late August, and more than half of smog-forming emissions coming from tailpipes in several metro areas in Georgia, more telework will also help improve air quality.
Georgia has been a national leader in its innovative approach to telework since The Clean Air Campaign launched the Telework Leadership Initiative in 2003.
Since then, the not-for-profit organization has helped more than 250 Georgia employers establish or expand successful telework programs.
Georgia continues to lead with its Georgia Telework Tax Credit, which provides up to $20,000 in tax credits, plus up to $1,200 for each new teleworker, to employers that establish or expand telework programs.
For state employees, the State of Georgia's robust Work Away program, launched in 2003 by Gov. Perdue, allows eligible employees to work from home and has kept more than 65 million miles off Georgia's roads in 2010 alone.
During Georgia Telework Week, The Clean Air Campaign is asking commuters and employers to log onto CleanAirCampaign.org/TeleworkWeek and pledge their support for telework.
The organization is also encouraging employers to get free consulting services from its telework experts to launch or expand programs and apply for Georgia's Telework Tax Credit.
Commuters can talk to their employers about teleworking and tell others about the benefits they experience when working from home.
According to the latest research from the Center for Transportation and the Environment, commissioned by the Georgia Department of Transportation, nearly 500,000 commuters in metro Atlanta telework on an occasional basis, but another 350,000 commuters believe their job responsibilities would allow them to telework, if they had employer support.
One employer that supports telework and has realized the bottom-line benefits of a program is Bank of America. Tony Vazquez, Bank of America's My Work executive, says his company saves an estimated $5,500 per year in real estate costs for each employee who gives up a cubicle to participate in the My Work program.
My Work lets associates choose to either work from home, eliminating their commute, or at a My Work drop-in location, which are strategically located to create the shortest commute for the most associates. And support for telework comes from the top down. "Bank of America is proud to be a leader in telework in metro Atlanta," said Geri Thomas, Bank of America Georgia president. "By offering workplace options through our My Work program, we are able to help reduce fuel consumption and harmful emissions – and help make the community a better place for our associates and our citizens."
To join Bank of America and hundreds of other organizations across Georgia supporting telework, or to find telework resource tools and the Georgia Telework Tax Credit application, visit CleanAirCampaign.org.
About The Clean Air Campaign The Clean Air Campaign is a not-for-profit organization that works with Georgia's employers, commuters and schools to encourage actions that result in less traffic congestion and better air quality.
To accomplish this goal, The Clean Air Campaign, along with its associate organizations, partners with more than 1,600 employers to create custom commute options programs; and annually helps thousands of commuters find commute alternatives that work for them, providing financial incentives to get them started.
The Clean Air Campaign also protects public health by distributing Smog Alerts and empowers students, parents and teachers to play a positive role in reducing traffic and cleaning the air through a multi-faceted education program reaching elementary, middle and high schools.
Each day, these programs reduce 1.4 million miles of vehicle travel and keep 700 tons of pollution out of the air we breathe. For more information, call 1-877-CLEANAIR (1-877-253-2624) or visit CleanAirCampaign.org.
Source: Clean Air Campain