Telework Week 2012 was March 5-9, 2012 and participation in this year’s event was up, significantly, over last year. The increased participation prompted one Telework Exchange blogger to ponder the question, “Have we reached the telework tipping point?”
Josh Sawislak is referencing Malcolm Gladwell’s bestselling book The Tipping Point. A tipping point is the point at which “ideas and behavior and messages and products sometimes behave just like outbreaks of infectious disease. They are social epidemics.” In this case, a teleworking epidemic is a good epidemic.
The Telework Exchange compiled participant data from Telework Week 2012 and the figures speak loudly:
- 71,234 employees pledged their participation, an 80 percent increase from 2011
- 94 percent of pledges were federal employees
- Federal telework participation increased 97 percent in the last year
- 71 percent of organizations reported increased productivity during the week, an 11 percent increase over the 2011 figure
- Participants saved $5.6 million in commuting costs and eliminated 3,453 tons of emissions by skipping the commute
- Only 1 in 5 organizations reported challenges during the week, down from 1 in 3 last year
The year-over-year growth of Telework Week in the past year alone is astounding. More people are participating, more commuting hours are saved, participants are producing fewer commuting-related emissions, productivity is up and the entire process is getting smoother. This may well be the telework tipping point.