What are benefits of offering teleworking/alternative work scheduling options?


Teleworking (or telecommuting) is working remotely from a location other than the regular worksite, such as working from home. About 50% of the U.S. full-time workforce report that their current job can be done working from home, at least part of the time.


  • Benefits: Telecommuting reduces transportation expenses for employees, provides more convenience, and can increase productivity and job satisfaction. Offering telecommuting options can also help increase staff recruitment or retention. 80 percent of those able to work from home want to do so at least one day per week. This also eliminates a daily commute to keep a car off the road, contributing to reduced traffic congestion and improved air quality. In 2018, workers spent an average 54 minutes per day commuting to and from work, so teleworking can create environmental benefits as well as give employees time back in their day for additional work-life balance.
  • Potential challenges: Telecommuting can create additional technical and administrative responsibilities, or some employees may find telecommuting to be isolating when staff coverage and interaction are reduced.
  • To help with this balance, many employers offer a hybrid system of working, where employees may request a schedule that is composed of some days of remote work and some in-office. This way employees can still benefit from teleworking while being plugged into the office and company environment.

Alternative work schedules

Alternative work schedules allow employees to work a schedule other than the traditional 8am-5pm Monday-Friday schedule.


  • Types: This could look like flextime, when employees may flex their work hours within a day, such as working 7:30-4, or 9-5:30. Employers may use this scheduling for staggered shifts to ensure that staff coverage needs are met with these varying schedules. Alternatively, some employees may opt for a compressed work week, working fewer but longer days, such as four 10-hour days per week, or 9-hour days with one day off every two weeks.
  • Benefits: Alternative work schedules could provide greater work-life balance for employees, particularly those who may have childcare responsibilities, are transit-reliant and must schedule around bus arrival times, or have other needs. Alternative work schedules also reduce traffic congestion during peak hour commute times, which reduces vehicle idle time to improve traffic and air quality. For job positions where teleworking is not an option, alternative work schedules are a great way to offer more flexibility to increase employee recruitment and retention.
  • Potential challenges: Working longer days may be tiring to an employee and slow their productivity at the end of a long day, and may result in reduced staff coverage, for example, on Fridays. Additionally, alternative work schedules could offer challenges with scheduling meetings.

Model Policies

Model policies for telework/alternative work schedules

The WMPO’s Go Coast program has developed a model policy for employers to adopt regarding teleworking, flex-scheduling, and compressed workweeks. Employees and managers should agree on clear expectations set for flexible work arrangements as outlined in the policy the employer adopts.