Regional Telework Pilot Initiative

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.  


Key themes from employee survey on telework

A key element of this pilot is measurement. SACOG and the consulting team recently concluded an employee survey at participating employer sites to understand travel behavior and sentiment towards telework. This data helps establish a baseline of behavior before the pandemic and provides insight on current attitudes and behaviors. Over 1,500 responses were collected (a 40% response rate). Key aggregate findings include:  

Employees like and feel successful teleworking  


What is the Regional Telework Initiative? 
Goals and Strategies of the Pilot

The pilot initiative will provide targeted and customized technical assistance and other incentives to a group of selected employers to assist in administering and maintaining ongoing telework. The pilot will utilize expert consultants and SACOG staff to support employers in establishing telework policies and employee agreements, conduct training for virtual management, and provide insights on productivity monitoring, among other services identified in the recently conducted focus groups.


From Sheltering in Place to Telework
Help SACOG design a regional telework program that works for employers, employees, and air quality. 

May 29, 2020: The COVID-19 pandemic has provided a live, two-month-and-counting experiment in telework for a significant share of the region’s employers and workers. As the Shelter-in-Place orders are incrementally lifted and the region transitions back to whatever the “new normal” will be, the region has an opportunity to hold on to the successful aspects of teleworking.