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Executive Summary

From full-time remote work to full-time onsite, employers are charting new territory as they plan for what the future of work will look like after the pandemic. The Telework Spectrum highlights some of the configurations employers are adopting. There is no one answer that applies to all stakeholders or all types of employers. Each organization, and even each team, may have different needs based on the nature of their work, e.g. how much work is customer-facing versus internal, is the work teambased and collaborative or more individual and solitary? The Telework Spectrum is designed to help employers learn about the various ways organizations are responding to and shaping the future of work and the commute. This brief outlines five models for the future of work, including benefits and drawbacks of each model, and considerations employers must face in developing their own policies.

The Champions of the Commute is a table of Greater Washington Partnership employers dedicated to advancing employer-led solutions to build a better way to work and commute around the Capital Region, from Baltimore to Richmond. The Champions of the Commute discuss transportation-related issues to learn from each other, identify shared priorities and implementation strategies, and influence positive transportation outcomes for the Capital Region.

The Champions of the Commute came together in early 2020 to discuss how employers could be a part of the solution to some of the worst congestion in the country. Like all of our lives, the pandemic shifted the table’s focus. More than a year into the pandemic, some employers’ workforces have been entirely remote while others have continued to come onsite throughout the pandemic. Many employers had to reduce staff or hours for jobs that were dependent on people coming together in large numbers. All employers, however, are trying to understand what changes made during the pandemic are here to stay and what those changes may mean for the future of their work.

The Champions of the Commute aim for the Telework Spectrum to support organizations in having more informed internal discussions about the benefits and challenges of various remote work possibilities, frequencies, and combinations. Before the pandemic, the general expectation for most employers was that employees would work full time onsite. Our interviews demonstrated that many employees hope the future is more flexible. The decisions employers make today will shape the professional norms of tomorrow.

The Capital Region is at an inflection point with regard to telework. In making decisions about the future of work and the commute, employers should consider what is best for their employees, their organizations, and the Capital Region.

The Telework Spectrum outlines some of the many possibilities and considerations for employers to factor in their future of work planning.