You may call it summer, but many Minnesota drivers are calling it "road construction season," as orange traffic barrels seem to line every other road. No matter what it's called, road repair is in full swing, making driving to and from work challenging for many.

Several Twin Cities companies are discovering that telecommuting or telework --working from home full- or part-time, and connecting to the office and clients via internet, phone, and mobile devices -- is one answer to road construction as well as year-round increased traffic, time-consuming bottlenecks and congestion.

Teleworkers who share their experiences remind us that it has considerable benefits that go beyond saving time and money, with 80% of teleworkers reporting more productivity, better wellbeing and reduced absenteeism. 

eWorkPlace, a free service to Twin Cities employers, provides all the tools and resources an organization needs in order to quickly mobilize its workforce, including a "Telework Toolkit for Employers," telework case studies, and presentation materials to help company leadership get on board. In addition, eWorkPlace offers online training tools for both teleworkers and their supervisors. Companies are invited to choose the courses they want for both managers and teleworkers, and the training may be customized.

The University of Minnesota is currently exploring the benefits of telework to individuals, organizations and the environment, and all telecommuters are urged to complete the online Commuter Savings Calculator to find out how much money, gas, time and/or stress they may save by working from home, even one day a week. The data collected will show the impact of teleworking throughout the Twin Cities, demonstrating any impact on the environment as well as on well-being, productivity and job satisfaction of teleworkers. 

Whether your organization is starting a new telework program or refreshing an existing initiative, eWorkPlace MN is available to help with everything from policy development and leadership orientation to manager and employee training. For more information visit the website or connect  via email at: [email protected]

eWorkPlace is funded by the Metropolitan Council and MnDOT and managed by the University of Minnesota Hubert Humphrey School of Public Affairs, in partnership with two local companies -- SRF Consulting and WFC Resources. For more, go to http://www.eworkplace-mn.com/