Bay Area May Require Telecommuting, Even After COVID-19

Posted By on October 9, 2020

To curb commuting emissions, large companies may be required to have employees work from home 3 days a week.

The goal of the proposed plan would be to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from car commuting.

The plan to require telecommuting is part of a larger proposal on how transit should look in the Bay Area in 2050. The proposal was approved 11-1 last week.

The controversial proposal would ensure that large, office-based companies keep 60% of their workers at home on workdays in order to help curb climate change.

The plan is still in the early stages, and it’s not clear if it’s approved officially what kind of “teeth” the MTC will have.

Institute Telecommuting Mandates for Major Office-Based Employers

Strategy Objective

Reduce greenhouse gas emissions, traffic congestion, and transit overcrowding by increasing the number of Bay Area workers that work from home one or more days per week.

Strategy Description

Build upon the significant shift to work from home during COVID-19 and mandate that large employers have at least 60
percent of their employees telecommute on any given workday. This requirement would be limited to large office-based employers whose workforce can work remotely. telecommuting target of 60 percent on a typical weekday.

This could enable an increase from the projected telecommute share of 14 percent in the Draft Blueprint to up to as high as 25 percent in the Final Blueprint, recognizing that half of the workforce has a job that must be completed in-person (not eligible for telecommuting).

The policy would require the employer to meet this target each workday. Employers could meet this target using anyvariety of alternative work options, such as compressedwork weeks, flexible work schedules, or remote workpolicies.

Changes Since Draft Blueprint

This strategy was not included in the Draft Blueprint and wasadded based upon public feedback this summer. Given the
changes in travel patterns during the coronavirus pandemic, there was strong support for bolder policies on this front in the Final Blueprint, including a mandate for office-based employers. To ensure this strategy achieves equity goals, a complementary strategy to expand internet access in underserved communities was added to the Economy Element as well.


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