eWorkPlace was a state-sponsored, multi-year initiative that helped Twin Cities-area businesses foster teleworking. Several of the resources that were available through eWorkPlace are now housed on the TPEC website:
- Telework toolkit for employers. Contains six customizable Microsoft Word documents.
- Telework benefits
The initial goal of eWorkPlace was to promote telecommuting as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion (see related article). TPEC researcher Adeel Lari evaluated eWorkPlace and summarized the outcomes and lessons learned in a final report. Since then, COVID-19 has renewed overall interest in teleworking and made the findings from the initiative even more relevant.
COVID-19 Analysis and Impacts
TPEC researcher Adeel Lari is monitoring the telecommuting impacts of the pandemic. He presented updates at the CTS Research Conference in November 2020 and in a special webinar—Remote Work and Transportation: Fad or Future?—in June 2021.
The main challenge with telecommuting, Lari says, is that it is not equally available to everyone. Some jobs—such as those in retail, construction, and hotels—are impossible to do online. These jobs also tend to be the ones held by the 25 percent of the nation’s workforce with the lowest incomes. There are also telecommuting disparities by gender, race, and educational attainment.
In a “new normal” with more remote work, strategies may be needed to overcome the impacts on women, minority communities, and those with low incomes. “We need to understand the work-from-home future and try to fully meet the transportation needs of all our users,” Lari says.
- eWorkPlace Phase III Final Report (MnDOT, Metropolitan Council, 2019)
- eWorkPlace brochure (2019)
- Smart Business Strategy (eWorkPlace, 2016)
- Understanding the Economic Effects of Flexibility through Three Employer Case Studies (MnDOT, 2013)
- eWorkPlace Final Report (2011)
- Is Teleworking Really Working? Findings from the eWorkPlace Telecommuting Project in Minnesota (2011)