A pilot project, sponsored by SEEDA (South East England Development Agency) and managed by Hampshire County Council (HCC), has found that dramatic productivity gains are possible in both the public and private sectors by using teleworking technology and practices.
The MATISSE project (Mobile and Teleworking Initiative for a Smarter South East) clearly demonstrated increased productivity amongst participants along with improved quality and accuracy of work while costs, specifically related to travel, were significantly reduced.
Key findings from the project include:
– Significantly reduced commuting mileage – 70% of participants travelled by car. The near 80 miles saved each week equates to a potential regional mileage saving of 21 million miles per month
– Reduced congestion – 95% of the pilot participants travelled to work at peak time with an average daily un-productive journey time of 2.2 hours
– Reduced stress – the daily commute was cited as a significant contributor to ‘stress levels’
– Reduced commuting costs – average savings of almost £80 per month were achieved by car users (based on cost of ownership @ 40p per mile)
– Improved productivity – At the Mid Pilot Workshop – between 75 and 80% of participants agreed teleworking was making them more productive. Post Pilot – Managers reported 87% of participants had increased their productivity (from between 5% and 25%). Significantly, quality and accuracy of work also improved.
– Enhanced well-being – The number ‘strongly agreeing’ their ‘work-life balance was good’ rose from 12% (pre-pilot) to 47.5% (post-pilot). Significantly (for ‘attracting and retaining staff’) those ‘very satisfied’ in their job rose from 18.8% (pre pilot) to 57.1% post pilot
– Office accommodation – the modest amount of occupancy data gathered suggests a 20% reduction in real-estate is readily attainable or for an expanding SME (small or medium sized enterprise) may avoid or delay the move to larger, more costly premises. Based on existing costs, a future 20% reduction in Hampshire County Council real-estate could save around £1 million per annum
Executive Member for Economic Development, Councillor Michael Woodhall, said: “As one of the main employers in Hampshire it is important that the County Council takes the lead in projects like MATISSE that promise to change the way many people will work.”
Tony Corbin, author of the MATISSE report, commented, “We need to look for ways of achieving economic growth in a smart and sustainable way. For many businesses and individuals, teleworking will be a practical and affordable way forward. It promises to deliver more productive employees and a better work-life balance. Employers will also be more positively perceived as they will be acting in a more socially responsible way.”