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Telework: The Impact on Health and Health Improvement Strategies

For many, work is no longer a place you go, but rather, something you do. Armed with wi-fi enabled laptops and other advanced technology gadgets, many employees now have the ability to do their jobs anywhere and at any time. As a result, employers are increasingly offering employees the opportunity to work remotely, or telework, and are reaping the benefits.

With employees less confined to the four walls of an office, teleworking can ease business continuity plans, reduce real estate and energy costs, improve employee productivity and retention, and much more. Unfortunately, the alternative work arrangement can also present challenges. Employees may lose access to on-site programs and informal communications that help them stay connected to the workplace.

This toolkit provides information about how employers can design a successful teleworking program while complying with important federal and state laws. With a special emphasis on employee health, the toolkit provides employers important considerations about the design of their communications strategy and wellness efforts to ensure equity across all employee populations. The toolkit also highlights how employers can leverage telework within their disability and absence management programs to improve overall employee productivity.

Acknowledgements
Special thanks goes to the following Business Group member organizations for their valuable time and input to this toolkit: Accenture, Aetna, GlaxoSmithKline, Healthways, IBM Corporation, Intel Corporation, Pearson, Unilever and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

The development of this toolkit was a joint collaboration among the following institutes and committee of the National Business Group on Health:



Download entire toolkit (60 pages) Locked secured document

Toolkit Components

  1. The Trend Toward Teleworking: Impact on Employer and Employee Locked secured document
    Reviews the latest research on the benefits of telework, including the impact on real estate costs, employee productivity and performance, organizational commitment and turnover, work-life balance, job satisfaction and mental health.

  2. Legal Concerns Related to Telework Locked secured document
    Summarizes the relevant federal and state legal requirements that employers should consider when implementing a telework program.

  3. Connecting with Teleworkers Through Innovative Communication Strategies Locked secured document
    Highlights innovative strategies employers should consider to improve communication with and among teleworking employees, with corporate examples.

  4. Wellness for Teleworkers At Home and On the Road Locked secured document
    Identifies ways employers can and are extending onsite health and wellness opportunities to remote employees.

  5. Leveraging Telework for Disability and Absence Management Locked secured document
    Suggests ways in which employers can leverage telework to reduce rising disability costs, decrease the number of employee absences and help sick or injured employees return to work faster.

  6. Remote Employees: Engaging a Virtual Workforce in Wellness Locked secured document
    Data on how employers communicate and extend traditionally on-site wellness benefits to remote employees, as well as how they transition disabled employees back into the workforce.

  7. Designing a Successful Telework Program Locked secured document
    Identifies key program components all employers should implement when designing a telework program.

  8. Telework Questionary Locked secured document
    A summary checklist of things employers should consider to improve the success of their telework program.

Page last updated: October 29, 2012