Tag Archives: work from home

Are Flexible Work Arrangements the New TDM Tool?

Cartoon of man working from home, teleconferencing with colleagues.By Perry Eggleston, CAPP, DPA

Rahm Emanuel said, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

I started as executive director of UC Davis Transportation Services on January 2, 2020, and while I was still learning my way around the campus, the COVID crisis struck. The industry suddenly faced unprecedented difficulties that challenged the most senior mobility experts.

March 16 came and suddenly, there were discussions of campus closures, distance learning, and teleworking. Until that time, telework was a wish for many in the transportation industry but not considered plausible due to supervisor and management reluctance. Within a week, these discussions made campus-wide telework a reality. When this COVID thing lasted longer than a few weeks, the campus started to look at how we could use the lull to continue the momentum of flexible work arrangements (FWA–the term our campus now uses for telework and compressed work schedules), and our department pushed the campus to continue planning using them past the pandemic.

To address all the issues for making FWA an ongoing TDM strategy, I am co-chairing a university committee: “Reimagining the Workplace.” Stakeholders from human resources, technology, planning, safety and ergonomics, employee/union relations, communications, legal, and finance are all involved. The committee has already identified several advantages to FWA: recruiting the best talent, employee well-being, more campus space for students, and reducing traffic congestion and air pollution. However, there are challenges to be overcome to arrive at the advantages.

Join Ramon Zavala and me April 21 when we host the IPMI webinar, Teleworking: An Alternate Mobility Mode. We will look at what institutions should consider when creating their own FWA program and planning lessons learned.

Perry Eggleston, CAPP, DPA, is executive director, transportation services, at UC Davis. He and Ramon Zavala, the university’s transportation demand manager, will present on this topic during an IPMI webinar, April 21. Click here for details and to register.

COVID-19 and Telework

By L. Dennis Burns, CAPP

As most of us have experienced, the COVID pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented national experiment with teleworking/telecommuting. The necessity of this has also seen a dramatic investment in the technology platforms to facilitate enhanced working-from-home communications.

Many companies and institutions that had been anti-telework in the past are reassessing their positions based on the successful (although forced) experiences of the past four or five months.

Move Minneapolis has just published a comprehensive guide to telework: “The Move Minneapolis Guide to Remote Work: Telework Strategies for Success Anywhere.” This excellent and practical document addresses following key topics:

  • Why Telework?
  • Getting Started.
  • Managing Teleworkers.
  • Special Considerations.
  • Savings for Employers and Employees.
  • Emergency Continuity of Operations.
  • Work-Life Balance and Lowered Stress.
  • Employee Retention.

Another great chapter addresses managing remote workers and includes topics such as:

  • Outcomes as a Management Metric.
  • Core Hours and Flex Schedules.
  • Communication.
  • Onboarding New Employees.
  • Training.
  • Working while Sick.
  • Remote Terminations

“Move Minneapolis Guide to Remote Work: Telework Strategies for Success Anywhere” can be downloaded here.

L. Dennis Burns, CAPP, is regional vice president, senior practice builder, with Kimley-Horn and a member of IPMI’s Board of Directors.

Imagining a New Working World

Remote work telecommute working from homeBy Brett Wood, CAPP, PE

A large portion of the working world is adjusting to a new normal of working from home.

Many are doing this while also being primary caregivers for a family, head of school for children, and maintainer of sanity for a household. In this current climate, we are all juggling a lot. But as we turn the corner on a month of this new normal, I get the sense that many work-from-homers are starting to settle into this rhythm.

I have worked from home for a long time. At my previous company, I routinely worked from home when not on the road. It brought a sense of work-life balance to be home when I was home. My partners were scattered all over the country and our communication was virtual before that was a thing. We collaborated in-person at client meetings or once a quarter or so in an office. But every other day was phone/email/instant messaging/video calls.

I, for one, really like the approach. And I don’t think I’m alone. A recent state of work productivity report found that 65 percent of remote workers felt more productive, and two-thirds of their managers agreed. When you get your at home setup right, you are really able to hyper-focus and produce. What if we come out of the next few months with a workforce that is more nimble, productive, and able to work from wherever rather than the brick and mortar model?

First, our office spaces could be easily reimagined. Instead of a traditional office model with workstations for everyone, there could be collaboration space for teams to come together when needed and a smaller number of workstations for in-office days. This reduced footprint would lower the space we dedicate to office space in our cities, which could be returned to housing (an amenity in short supply, high demand, and even higher price in our cities). It would also reduce overhead costs for companies. Flexjobs reported that employers could save approximately $22,000 per year per remote worker.

What about transportation? Under our current stay-at-home orders, we have seen vehicles disappear off of our roads. Based on estimates from the last U.S. Census, there are about 115 million vehicles commuting every day with a single occupant. Reducing actual commuters and their vehicles would have astounding effects on congestion and resulting pollution.

We aren’t likely entering a world where every worker becomes a remote worker. It’s not feasible in many industries. But what if a bigger portion went that route? In 2016, the Census reported about 150 million workers. Around that time there were about 4.7 million that were remote workers. What if we tripled or quadrupled that number? That could be more than 10,000,000 vehicles per day off the road. Imagine the impacts to congestion, parking needs, pollution, travel costs, infrastructure needs, and beyond.

Brett Wood, CAPP, PE is president of Wood Solutions Group.

Free Online Shoptalk: Leading Remote Teams and Best Practices

Free Online Shoptalk: Leading Remote Team & Best Practices

Download the recording here.

IPMI invites all industry professionals in parking, transportation, and mobility to discuss how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted your various mobility programs and options, including managing employees from home and best practices for working from home. We understand this is an extremely busy time and will record the online shoptalk and distribute to all members and colleagues.

Working from home comes with its perks, but also its challenges and frustrations. Join us to collaborate about how we’re managing people, organizations, and our own work and time while working from home during COVID-19. Bring your questions and the solutions that have worked for you for a discussion about the best ways to keep our companies, staffs, and selves at our best while the office is where we live.

If you have a question or would like to share something that has worked for your organization in advance, please email Fernandez@parking-mobility.org.


Vanessa Solesbee headshotVanessa Solesbee, CAPP, is Parking & Transit Manager for the Town of Estes Park, Colorado. In her role, Vanessa manages on- and off-street parking for a small mountain community that welcomes 4.5 million visitors each summer. Vanessa also manages Estes Transit, a free seasonal shuttle system with five routes serving 55 stops throughout the Estes Valley. Vanessa is currently leading one of the Town’s four COVID-19 operational response teams focused on accelerated economic and business recovery.  Vanessa is also President of The Solesbee Group, LLC (TSG), a management consultancy founded in 2013. TSG specializes in designing public involvement processes that support parking, transportation and mobility planning efforts for cities and universities. Vanessa was also part of Kimley-Horn’s parking planning practice from 2015-2017.