In 2020, SACOG shifted programming due to the pandemic and launched a Regional Telework Pilot Initiative when shelter in place orders moved many employees to telework. The goal of shifting focus to telework was to identify the tools and policies that support the increase of telework to replace commute trips, compared to pre-COVID-19 levels.
To kickstart the Initiative, last summer SACOG conducted several focus groups to learn what incentives or services would enable employers to maintain ongoing telework. Over 30 employers were represented in these sessions. Then, after an application process, SACOG selected a mix of public, private, and non-profit employers to participate in a pilot project. The selected employers range in size from less than 10 to over 1,000 employees and were selected for their commitment to telework, interest in exploring options for non-teleworkers, and willingness to measure progress.
Since the selection of participating employers, a consultant team with expertise in Telework, Human Resources, IT, and Policy has been providing customized technical assistance by reviewing updated Telework Policy and Employee Agreements, setting up employee focus groups, and sharing best practices and research. Most of the participating employers are gearing up for hybrid workplaces where employees spend some of the week teleworking and some of the week at the office.