UTAH

Thousands of state employees are opting to work remotely going forward

May 26, 2021, 1:50 PM | Updated: 1:54 pm

Office space may look more like this work from home setup in the future in Utah...

FILE PHOTO: Research finds a connection between housing prices and more people working from home. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY– Thousands of state employees are jumping at the opportunity to work remotely on a more permanent basis.

Giving the green light to work remotely 

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, around 8,700 state employees were working from home. Officials with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget say those working remotely were just as productive, if not more so, than those continuing to work in an office space.

As a result, they’re now offering those individuals the opportunity to remain remote in some capacity going forward.

“There not forced to remote work, they have the option if they’re an employee of good standing and in an eligible position,” explained Jeff Mottishaw, Director of Operational Efficiencies. “Quite frankly, we hope that they do.”

A win, win, win situation

Mottishaw says the benefits of remote work are threefold.

First, it should benefit the employee from a time standpoint by removing their daily commute and meeting-related travel. Secondly, it can potentially save the state millions of dollars by decreasing their need for office space. Lastly, Mottishaw expects the effort to have a positive impact on the environment by sending fewer pollutants into the air along the Wasatch Front.

Although it’s early in the process and more feedback is needed, officials expect a majority of eligible workers to opt into remote work.

“We believe about 6,000 will participate long-term at this point,” said Mottishaw. “Not everybody wants to work remotely 100-percent of the time, but most people want to work remotely some of the time.”

In fact, many state officials believe this will become much more common in the coming months and years.

“The state is trying to lead out as an example,” he said. “We believe this is a successful program.”

Additional details on the guidelines and comments from Governor Spencer Cox can be found here.

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Thousands of state employees are opting to work remotely going forward