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Getting around Calgary: telework and WORKshift

Today's technology makes it easier for people to telework (work from home) through internet connections, email, smart phones and conference calls.

Teleworking is one way for workers to save travel time and employers to save office space. It is an arrangement between employees and employers in which staff are allowed, even encouraged, to work at home as part of their regular working hours. It can be just a few hours a week or a full-time arrangement.

In addition to reducing peak hour congestion or eliminating trips altogether, teleworking improves employee recruitment and retention as well as increases productivity.

Try these tips for implementing telework in your workplace:

  • Check your employee handbook or talk to your employer about policies or programs already in place for telework.
  • Discuss the option of telework carefully with your supervisor to ensure that details for staying in contact, attending meetings and reporting progress are clearly defined.
  • Ensure that you have the necessary resources at home to complete your job effectively.
  • Consider the amount of time working from home suits your work and your personality. Some people can go for weeks at a time working from home while others would prefer to split the home and office time equally.
  • In some areas, several businesses combine to support a teleworking centre where people who live locally, but work for different employers, all share the same office space away from their homes. This maintains social interaction during the day and a scheduled office routine but still reduces travel distance for employees.

WORKshift

WORKshift is a Calgary based initiative to promote, educate and accelerate the adoption of teleworking (working from home) in the business community.

WORKshift offers businesses tools and resources to assess and effectively implement telework programs for their employees. WORKshift also provides a web tool to track and report on the positive environmental impacts associated with telework.

Calgary businesses will see tangible benefits right away and will set an example for companies across Canada that are looking to initiate telework programs.