G5: Mobility and Flexibility

Increase the percentage of employees in eligible positions choosing flexible work options from 40% to 44% by January 2020. This four percentage point increase would represent about 500 additional employees.

Why are Mobility and Flexibility a priority?

Work is changing. Advances in technology, changing customer and employee demographics, implementation of new business initiatives and Lean process improvements, limiting our environmental impact, shifting employee expectations, and rising real estate costs are all factors in building a modern work environment. Gallup’s 2016 State of the American Workplace Report shows that flexibility is a high priority for employees and is directly related to their engagement at work. Employees want the ability to choose where they work,how they work, and what they get to work on. Research suggests that employees with flexible schedules are both happier at work and less prone to burnout and psychological stress than their colleagues who do not have flexibility at work(Forbes 2016).

Employees that are satisfied with the level of mobility and flexibility in their jobs are less likely to leave as they are generally content with their employment, which contributes to organizational stability. When agencies embrace workplace flexibility and mobility, they are doing their part to create an effective, efficient workplace that best suits the important work we do in the state of Washington.

How are we doing?

In the baseline year of 2017, an average of 36,000 positions statewide are eligible for telework (about 22k eligible positions), flextime (about 48k eligible positions) or compressed workweek (about 39k eligible positions). Of the eligible positions, an average of 40% are filled with employees participating in telework (about 19k participating employees), flextime (about 38k participating employees), compressed workweek (about 34k participating employees)* or a combination of the three.

Telework,as defined by the Executive Order, is the practice of working from home orother alternative location closer to home through the use of technology whichallows the employee to access normal work materials. Flextime allows theemployee some flexibility in starting and ending times outside of the agency’snormal work hours. Compressed workweek allows full-time employees to eliminateat least one work day every two weeks by working longer hours during theremaining days, resulting in less commute trips.

What are we working on?

Office of Financial Management, the Workplace Strategy Council, and state agencies are working together on the following statewide improvement strategies:

  • Developing and posting mobile work resources to the Modern Work Environment webpage.
  • Improving the alignment of enterprise wide policies.
  • Tracking use of the new “Mobile Work for Supervisors” e-learning course available through Department of Enterprise Services.
  • Working with agencies to identify opportunities to increase the percentage of eligible positions and participating employees.
  • Working with agencies to keep data up to date within the Human Resource Management System (HRMS) for telework, flextime & compressed workweek.

Leaders and staff within each agency are also continually working to identify,implement and assess internal strategies to improve the overall employee experience.

Reported by: (Office of Financial Management - State HR Division)