Some county employees could work from the comfort of their own homes as soon as January under a new policy announced Tuesday by County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.
"Telecommuting is a proven tactic that enables employers to reduce their carbon footprint by using readily available technology to cut down on employees' unnecessary travel to the workplace," Kamenetz said in a statement.
Beginning next month, all non-probationary employees can request to participate in the program.The county will approve those requests on a case-by-case basis based on which jobs can be adapted to working from home, according to the release.
Employees who wish to work from home must have telephone and Internet access.
Those employees approved to work from home will be allowed to do so up to five days in each two-week pay period.
"The idea is to carefully determine which jobs can be done off-site in a manner that maintains the employee's effectiveness—or, as has been my experience, actually increases their productivity," Baltimore County Office of Information Technology Director Robert Stradling said in the county statement.
This is the second time Kamenetz has looked at the subject of alternative working arrangements.
In 2008, then-Councilman Kevin Kamenetz asked the county auditor to review alternative work week schedules in county government and develop a policy for the county.
The 38-page report that resulted from that review found that a policy allowing 10-hour work days was lightly used by 10 county agencies. [A copy of that report is attached to this story.]
The Bureau of Highways had the highest participation rate with 97 percent of its 278 eligible employees working some form of alternative schedule, according to that report.
Ironically, the Office of Information Technology had the lowest rate of participation. Only about 4 percent of the office's 184 eligible employees took advantage of compressed work week options. The agency did not offer a telecommuting option at the time of the report.