The County of Westchester is committed to reducing congestion on its roadways and to improving the quality of the air its residents breathe.  To help address these issues, the County has developed a comprehensive program known as SMART COMMUTE.  This initiative, overseen by the County’s Department of Public Works and Transportation, in cooperation with the New York State Department of Transportation, focuses on reducing traffic congestion by encouraging the use of commute alternatives such as buses, trains, vanpools, carpools, compressed work week and telecommuting. 

What is Telecommuting?
Telecommuting (also called Telework) is the ability to work from home or a satellite office or telework center near home one or more days a week - instead of commuting to the main office.  Telecommuting is a way to bring the job to the person rather than the person to the job. The program can eliminate the commute trip entirely if the employee is telecommuting from his/her home.  If a neighborhood telecenter is being utilized, this can significantly reduce the employee’s commute time and distance.

Employees can be linked to the workplace by computer and modem or simply can do work that requires nothing more than a telephone.  Employees can telecommute full-time or just a few days a month.

Telecommuters are saving themselves and their employers millions of dollars.

How The Employee Benefits

  • Decreased commute – the time, the commuting costs and stress of the daily commute is reduced or eliminated.  Telecommuting may even eliminate the need for a commute vehicle or second car.  
  • Increased flexibility – telecommuters can coordinate their work schedule with personal demands.  Employees can also have more flexibility when choosing the place to live when commute route or distance is not a significant consideration.  
  • Improved work environment - by reducing the unproductive, often frustrating distractions of the office, telecommuting from a home office provides a more comfortable efficient place to work.
  • Increased employment opportunities – telecommuting may increase employment opportunities for the mobility-limited.
  • Improved family life – telecommuters have more time and opportunities to spend with family and friends.

How The Employer Benefits

  • Increased productivity and work quality – a productivity increase by as much as 20% was measured in a case study.  Also, telecommuters have the opportunity to work at their own personal  “peak” times rather than standard hours.
  • Reduced time loss – employees are able to avoid commuting and traffic congestion problems.
  • Decreased absenteeism – employees are able to work in spite of minor illness, car trouble, or family/household emergencies. 
  • Decreased turnover – employees see telecommuting as a job benefit, thus increasing morale and motivation.  Turnover, recruitment costs and training expenses can be reduced.
  • Competitive advantage in recruiting - a telecommuting program is an innovative addition to an employee benefits package.  You can tap into new labor markets (disabled, elderly, and geographically remote areas) by incorporating telecommuting programs into your company’s structure.
  • Decreased overhead – telecommuting can decrease the amount of office space required.  To facilitate telecommuting, employers may establish satellite offices in less costly office space in outlying areas.  Fewer employee parking spaces are needed at the main office, resulting in significant savings.  This can offset potential capital outlay for the purchase of home computers.

Where To Go For More Information
If you are interested in learning more about telecommuting, please call 995-4444.  

Other web sites offering telecommuting information include:

The Commuter Connections Telework Resource Center
The Association for Commuter Transportation