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With advanced communications capabilities, the desire to save money and the need to conserve energy, more and more companies are turning to teleworking. Teleworking, allows employees to work at home or at a local telework center. Communication is accomplished via Internet, phone, fax, and teleconferencing.

In addition to doing their part to conserve energy, reduce traffic congestion and air pollution, employees enjoy a wide array of benefits from teleworking:

Cost savings
Enjoy saving on gas, parking, and expensive lunches and claim a great tax deduction.

Get more done
You'll get more done (10-40% more) because you're not being interrupted by daily office distractions. Note: You'll also tend to work longer hours because you're able to avoid travel time.

Improved motivation
Many teleworkers get highly motivated with the amount of trust their employer has put in them.

Skills retention
If you need to be out of the office for an extended period of time due to illness, maternity leave, or maybe you just decided to "take a break", you can keep abreast of company business and industry trends by working part-time from home. You'll also enjoy a much smoother transition when you're ready to return full-time.

Your team
Be confident that you can still work with the best-of-the-best when teleworking. Regardless of geography, you can still pull together the best team to give your clients top-notch service.

We are in an age where terrorist attacks and severe weather can cripple your ability to get to work and do your job. By working from home, you are far more resilient and pliable. You can still conduct meetings via teleconferencing and videophone with fewer disruptions.

For more information, contact Jennifer Zucker at jzucker@bethesda.org or at 301-656-0868 x118.

Additional resources
Commuter Connections - Telework
Telework Exchange
Are You Teleworkable?
Think you're ready to telework? Before you say YES, there are a few things you should consider before running to your boss. While it is true that you will likely save time and money, we have a few questions you should ask yourself.

Am I teleworkable?
Be realistic. It's not for everyone. If you don't have the temperament or self-discipline to be independently productive, don't do it. Can you set and meet deadlines? Are you self-motivated? Can you effectively prioritize, organize and manage your time? Do you function well alone? While the initial thought of working from home might sound too good to be true, you need to know that you'll essentially be working in solitude for long periods of time. You'll likely miss out on staff jokes, lunches and gossip.

Is my home life suitable for the arrangement?
Pets, children, television and phone calls are just a few distractions that can lure you away from your home office. Family members need to understand that you are essentially unavailable, unless the house is literally on fire.

Is my job teleworkable?
If you spend most of your day using a computer and talking on the phone, then your job is probably a good candidate. A company that has one or more satellite offices is also a good indicator that the arrangement is possible.

How much will it cost?
While you'll save money on time and gas, you may have to incur additional costs such as an extra phone line at home, fax, broadband Internet connection and an office set-up. If your company won't pick up the tab for these items, then they'll be on you. You will, however, be able to claim some of them as a tax deduction. Learn how to make your home pay off for you at tax time.

Remember: It's not about you!
When proposing a teleworking arrangement, remember it's all about what this can do for your boss. Inform your company of the benefits it will receive. Use facts that relate to work and start small – one or two days a week.
Convince Your Boss
Now that you're prepared to work from home, you need to ask your boss. Here are few helpful hints to get you started:

Research and preparation
First, check your employee handbook or contact your HR department to determine whether your company already offers a teleworking program. If so, you could be half way there.

If your company doesn't have such a policy or it's believed that these activities are frowned upon, you might try seeking individuals you know who were successful in working out the arrangement.

Be prepared to address your capabilities and the tasks that your job lends to teleworking. Be sensible in determining how much time you can afford to spend doing solitary work at home and how much face-time you need with coworkers. It might be reasonable for you to work from home three times a week or once a month.

Put it in Writing
A well thought out proposal can go along way. Your boss will see how much consideration you've given to this idea and your level of commitment to making it work. Be sure to cover the following areas in your proposal:

Employer benefits: Remember this is more for them than it is for you – so what will they gain? The more you can quantify and qualify the better.

About you: State how you are suited for this type of lifestyle. Your reliability, dependability and self-motivation are all key factors. Include information on the layout of your home and office space as well as the equipment you have to conduct your work activities.

Security: Do you work with confidential or other sensitive materials? If so, you'll need to address what steps you'll take to ensure your company's information is not compromised – from secure passwords to logon to your computer to firewalls.

Outside resources: Feel free to research articles and other statistical data that supports your request. Research the latest news on how companies benefit, how many people telework and look for other companies similar in nature to your with a telecommuting benefit.

If your boss seems skeptical, be prepared to suggest a trial run. Also plan to address one or more of the following comments:
  • It's not a good idea – everyone will want to do it, and they can't – it's just not fair.
  • I have to run this by the higher-ups.
  • How will we measure your success?
  • What if it doesn't work out?
Telework Resource Centers
The Telework Resource Center was established in 1996 as part of an expanded alternative commute program in the Washington metropolitan region. The program, known as Commuter Connections, is designed to improve air quality by reducing single-occupancy vehicle commuting. Commuter Connections is administered by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), an association of 17 local governments in the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland, and Northern Virginia.

The Telework Resource Center provides free information and assistance to help local organizations start or expand telework programs. Services include a telework information kit and video, FREE seminars for employers and employees, and one-on-one assistance.

Bowie State University
Telecommuting Center
Bowie State University
Thurgood Marshall Library
14000 Jericho Park Rd., Rm 082
Bowie, MD 20715
301-352-4513 (fax)

Hagerstown Telework Center
14 North Potomac Street, Suite 200
Hagerstown, MD 21740
301-745-5700 (fax)


George Mason University Telework
and Training Centers

3 locations:

4031 University Drive,
First Floor 768 Center Street
Fairfax, VA 22030

150 Elden St. Suite 270
Herndon, VA 20170

10900 University Blvd.
Bull Run Hall
Manassas, VA 20110


Telework Resource Center
Metropolitan Washington
Council of Governments
777 North Capitol Street, NE
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20002
1-800-745-RIDE (general information)
202-962-3218 (fax)
Nicholas Ramfos
Director, Commuter Connections
202-962-3313 (business)

Preferred Office Club
1025 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 1012
Washington, DC 20036
202-857-9799 (fax)
Tips to Make Teleworking a Success
  • Create a workspace. The dining room table is not an office.
  • Make sure the spouse and kids understand that you'll be working and that you are not available to relax, do chores or play.
  • Plan to be accessible during your company's business hours.
  • If you don't already have it, you'll need to get a broadband Internet connection – otherwise you won't be productive.
  • Sign-up for an Internet instant message service like MSN or Yahoo! so you can easily be reached.
  • Be sure to get out of the house! It's a must!
  • Get dressed. The thought of working in your PJ's might be exciting, but you'll be more productive if you get dressed. You'll also be prepared to walk out the door at a moments notice if you need to go to the office or have a face-to-face meeting.
  • If this whole teleworking thing isn't working out for you, say so – your boss will respect your honesty and likely be impressed that you'd rather come to the office.
Walk In Services
Bethesda Transportation Solutions
7700 Old Georgetown Road, Lobby Level
Bethesda, Maryland 20814

BTS can provide you instant FREE ridematching and transit routing services for your commute. We also have a complete selection of schedules for Ride On bus, Metrobus for Montgomery County, along with other local bus services in Maryland, DC and Virginia to meet your needs.

To help us serve you better, contact Allison Kemp before you plan to visit at 301-656-0868 x121.

Hours of Operation
Monday – Friday
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

*Closed on all Montgomery County holidays. In the event of inclement weather, please call 301-656-0868 before visiting the office.
Flextime and Compressed Work Weeks
For employees whose job does not lend itself to teleworking, Flextime may be a viable option.  Employees working on Flextime are able to select the hours they will work, which can be tailored around peak travel times on public transit or traffic.  For example, an employee can just as easily work from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. as they can from the traditional 9:00 to 5:00 schedule.  By coming in earlier and leaving earlier, they can avoid some of the rush hour crush. To read more about the benefits of Flextime, click here.

Employees can also work compressed work weeks.  Instead of working five 8-hour days, employees working compressed work weeks work four 10-hour days and take the traditional fifth day off.

Uncle Sam
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