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CEA Expands Telework Policy

Association encourages employees to work one day a week from home.

The Consumer Electronics Association is expanding its voluntary telework policy and is encouraging its staff to spend four days in the office and work one day each week from home.

At a luncheon with the Virginia governor, his cabinet and the Northern Virginia Technology Council, CEO President/CEO Gary Shapiro discussed the policy.

Previously only salaried employees could participate in the telework program; hourly workers were not eligible, a CEA spokeswoman told me. With the change, approximately 20% more employees can telecommute; the association employs 150 people.

CEA staff who would like to participate would submit a telecommuting agreement to their supervisor and department head for approval.

Asked if having a computer at home was a condition for telecommuting, the spokeswoman said CEA will work with the employee to determine the appropriate equipment needs on a case-by-case basis.

Additionally, CEA provides employees a 50% reimbursement, up to a maximum of $500 a year, for home broadband access.

CEA said the policy will help reduce congestion in Northern Virginia and decrease the carbon footprint of its employees.

For example, an employee living in Sterling, Va. who takes part would be off the road 2,080 miles a year, saving 52 hours in commute time while decreasing carbon dioxide emissions by 1,470 lbs. a year. A CEA-commissioned study found that one day of telecommuting saves the equivalent of up to 12 hours of an average household’s electricity use.

The benefit supplements other CEA policies such as a $25,000 forgivable three-year loan to assist with the purchase of a home close to its headquarters, a $115 per month Metro subsidy to further the use of mass transit and facilitating walking or biking to work through on-site locker rooms.