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Telecommuting

This page provides information on local government telecommuting policies in Washington State, including links to regulations, examples and recommended resources.

For information regarding implementation of telecommuting programs in response to the COVID-19 emergency, see our FAQ: What are the best practices for implementing a telecommuting program? Below are examples of policies, including temporary telecommuting agreements.


Overview

Telecommuting programs allow employees to work from home (or at a neighborhood telework office) rather than commuting daily to a more distant work site. Telecommuting has experienced significant growth in recent years and, as telecommunications hardware and software develop and the economy becomes increasingly more digital, it may even increase at a higher rate.

Reasons for telecommuting's popularity include: increased production, more flexibility in the workplace, decreased sick leave, decreased turnover, reduced office space needs, the ability to attract or retain talented employees outside of the normal commute radius, and less pollution and traffic congestion from people driving to work. Most telecommuters work at home 1-3 days a week, work on specific projects, and many require very little in expenses. Though telecommuting also comes with challenges and is not for everyone, local governments and other organizations can create telecommuting programs that increase productivity, flexibility, and improve the bottom line.

The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 was signed into law in December 2010. Federal agencies are the primary focus of the legislation, although the act may be an example for local action. The act requires covered agencies to develop a formal telework policy, and teleworkers must be given equal treatment in performance appraisals, work environments, and other areas. Additional information regarding the act is provided in the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's Telework Enhancement Act page.


Examples of Policies

Below are examples of telecommuting policies and documents adopted by local governments in Washington State. Some of the policies are general in nature, while others address temporary telecommuting due to unique situations such as public health emergencies.

General Telecommuting Policies

Cities

Counties

Temporary Telecommuting

The forms and agreements below were all developed to allow temporary telecommuting during the 2020 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.


Recommended Resources

Below are some resources to help organizations develop or implement their telecommuting policies.

Resources on Telecommuting for Reduced Traffic Congestion and Pollution Emissions

General Resources


Last Modified: April 06, 2020