A new program from Roanoke”s CoLab is making it easier for employees to telework – taking miles off the road and giving them hours back each day.
Roanoke, VA. (April 28, 2015) – In 2014, RIDE Solutions broke records with its annual Clean Commute Challenge, removing over 70,000 miles from the region’s roads as people across central and southwest Virginia were encouraged to carpool, bike, walk, take transit, or telework instead of driving alone.
Buried within this recent press release is this bit of great news businesses that want to offer telework:
HB 2197 (Comstock) – Creates a telework tax credit
- Provides a $1,200 per teleworking employee tax credit to employers for expenses incurred in allowing employees to telework pursuant to a signed telework agreement for taxable years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2012, but before Jan. 1, 2014. The total credit amount any one employer may take for 2012 and 2013 is $50,000.
This should be a nice incentive to help some employers offset the cost of telecommunications infrastructure and services to allow their employees to work from home (like I am right now!). Telework is, of course, the best commute option, even better than bicycling – the quality of life benefits of allowing employees to forgo the drive to work and the office experience altogether are numerous, as are productivity gains. One of the benefits employers often find is that managing teleworking means managing on outcomes more than presence; that is, they but measures in place that actually capture an employee’s productivity better than standard measures and overstate the value of “face time.” Often, they find that teleworkers are more productive because of this – regardless of the time they actually spend doing the work – because they have a better understanding of their expectations. Meanwhile, managers often confuse in-office employees who spend a lot of time looking busy as actually being busy. Implementing similar measures helps them set better expectations and performance guidelines for in-0ffice employees.
In other words, a teleworker can often get more done in less time, and still get the benefit of picking up their kids from school every day, saving money on commuting and daycare expenses, all because their managers learn how to focus on the work getting done.
In Virginia, the Telework!Va program can provide free services to Roanoke-area companies looking to implement a telework option. Not only do those companies get the advantage of those free expert consulting services, now they can tap into the tax credit to fund the technology.