Best Practices
 

CITY OF REDMOND
Mayor Rosemarie M. Ives

Telecommuting

Traffic congestion and regional air quality are at a critical state in the Puget Sound area. The measures employers take today directly affect the quality of life in our community and neighborhoods.

That is why the City of Redmond has endorsed telecommuting as a work option for selected employees. One of our goals continues to be to set an example of how one employer can take positive steps to reduce our organization's demand on the region's transportation network. In striving to be a reasonable corporate citizen, we recognize telecommuting is but one of a number of initiatives employers must take if we wish to be part of the solution to traffic congestion and air pollution.

Furthermore, telecommuting is consistent with sound business practices and has made the City of Redmond more competitive. Telecommuting increases the productivity and morale of employees who participate in the program, more effectively uses work space, and promotes a spirit of innovation.

Telecommuting has been a success for the City of Redmond since our first official telecommuters began working out of their homes in the spring of 1990. There are currently about 35 telecommuters registered with the Human Resources Department. Most work from their homes one day per week. Planners, secretaries, supervisors, engineers and department heads are among the jobs that City of Redmond telecommuters hold. They work on writing, reading, telephoning, analysis, programming, data entry, and word processing.

The city's telecommuting staff members save approximately 450 miles per week or 23,400 miles per year by working at home one day per week. They commute anywhere from three to 35 miles one-way from their residence to their offices in Redmond.

In settings where productivity can be accurately measured, the average increase in productivity on the day an employee telecommutes is 20-40 percent. Increases in productivity of up to 100 percent among telecommuters is not unusual.

The City of Redmond's telecommuting program has grown as more supervisors have become comfortable with their employees working off-site. The initial goal of the project was 20 telecommuters. The city reached that goal and set a new goal of 10 percent of the workforce telecommuting two or more days a month. Both "high-tech" (with computers and modems) and "low-tech" telecommuting is encouraged.

The City of Redmond continues to expand its telecommuting workforce as technological advances make it even easier to work from home and the necessity to keep employees off Puget Sound highways increases.

Contact: Office of the Mayor, (206) 556-2101

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Commute Trip Reduction

The City of Redmond instituted a Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) Program for city employees designed to reduce the number of single-occupant vehicle trips to city work sites during peak-hour periods. The goals of the CTR Program are to improve air quality, reduce traffic congestion, and decrease fuel consumption. Key elements of the City of Redmond's CTR Program include a parking plan for the main campus that is both monitored and enforced; preferential parking stalls for registered carpools; secure bicycle parking; showers and lockers for employees who bicycle or walk to work; a $30-per-month transit subsidy that can be applied to bus passes or Metro vanpools; flextime and compressed work week opportunities; telecommuting; and a Guaranteed Ride Home Program for those who rideshare. The city also is a member of a recently formed transportation management organization which includes five private companies located close by. Since 1993, we have removed or shifted into high occupancy vehicles a significant number of employee single-occupant vehicle trips per day.

Contact: Office of the Mayor, (206) 556-2101

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Wellness Rebate and Medical Self-Insurance

The City of Redmond integrated the wellness program when the medical self-insurance plan went into effect in January 1993. A Wellness Committee set a list of activities (e.g. attendance at lunch time workshops on stress management and nutrition; 100 percent use of seatbelts; cholesterol checks; fitness evaluations; having current First-Aid/CPR cards, etc.) for employees to receive bonus points. The points would be computed into dollars and would result in a bonus check according to points received and the overall medical plan use. In 1993 the "average" rebate check to employees was $120; in 1994 the average check was $219. The rate of employee participation in the wellness rebate for 1994 was 92 percent; this was a 14 percent increase over the 1993 rate!

Contact: Cheryl Parmele, (206) 556-2124

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