Telework Investment 101

According to the new General Services Administration telework study, if a large agency of about 100,000 spends about $16 million over three years to let 50,000 people telework at least once a week, that agency could save about $36 million.


Over a three-year period, this agency will spend about $16 million to bring 16,667 new teleworkers a year.


GSA arrives at these figures by assuming that the agency will include the costs of purchasing a notebook PC as part of their regular technology refresh. And because most teleworkers work from home once a week, according to the Office of Personnel Management, only 20 percent of the notebook expense can be charged to the telework initiative. Moreover, the study also assumes that the cost of buying a notebook, the study assumes, can be offset by the current cost of purchasing and maintaining a desktop.


Here is how GSA estimates the net per-person cost of equipment attributed to teleworking:


Hardware:

  • Notebook with docking station: $2,072
  • Less 80 percent (non-telework expense): ($1,658)
  • Less cost of desktop: ($326)
    Subtotal: $88

    Peripherals:
  • Printer/copier/fax: $238
  • Subtotal: $238

    Total per user: $326

    Additional telework support costs may be incurred at agencies with less-developed infrastructure and support resources.


    These investments can reap $36.2 million in savings over the same three-year period, according to the GSA study.

    Here is a breakdown of where the savings are derived:

    FY2007

  • Reduced employee absence savings: $3.6 million
  • Real-estate savings: n/a
  • Employee retention savings: $70,000
  • Improved employee productivity: $7.6 million


  • FY2008
  • Reduced employee absence savings: $3.5 million
  • Real estate savings: n/a
  • Employee retention savings: $68,329
  • Improved employee productivity: $7.4 million


  • FY2009
  • Reduced employee absence savings: $3.5 million
  • Real-estate savings: $2.5 million
  • Employee retention savings: $68,164
  • Improved employee productivity: $7.4 million


  • Totals
  • Reduced employee absence savings: $10.8 million
  • Real-estate savings: $2.5 million
  • Employee retention savings: $206,493
  • Improved employee productivity: $22 million


  • Overall savings over three years: $36.2 million

    Source: GSA's Telework Technology Cost Study

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