BUSINESS

South Jordan employees keen on telecommuting as the ‘new normal’

May 6, 2021, 1:30 PM
south jordan city hall to allow more telecommuting...
FILE: South Jordan City Hall | Photo: South Jordan City FB

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah — South Jordan city employees say after working from home for a year, they like telecommuting. A new program could allow them to keep doing so.

Feedback from telecommuting South Jordan employees

That word came after the city conducted a survey of its workers. 

“The feedback from our workforce about working remotely has been immensely positive,” said Teresa Cook, human resources director for South Jordan. “We conducted a survey in June 2020 for all of our remote workers and their supervisors to find out how that experience was going. Of the 134 employees invited to participate in the survey, 129 responded.”

Cook said this was an unusually high response from employees, demonstrating some enthusiasm. 

“Our employees are happier than ever to work for the City, and not in small part due to the willingness to offer flexibility for our workforce,” Cook said.

The results

Both employees and supervisors reported they feel at least as productive if not more productive working remotely. 100% of employees say they are more effective or at least as effective as they were working in person. 67% of supervisors reported the same amount of work or even improved work from their employees. 

“It’s been great to hear how well this program has gone,” City Manager Gary Whatcott said. “Our employees are happier, and in some cases more productive than they were before, and our supervisors love that they can give their employees more flexibility in their work environment.”

How did this work for the citizens of South Jordan?

South Jordan city leaders said citizens received the same level of service with employees telecommuting as they did before. 

The city allowed remote working in 2014, but workers rarely used the option. But starting in 2019, Whatcott worked to expand the remote work program. The city said that paid off when the pandemic hit. 

“We were able to pivot to work from home and maintain productivity and service levels for our residents, which is a big win,” Cook said.

Looking forward

“Employees will get to work anywhere from one to three days remotely with the new program and we’ve given each division the flexibility to determine what works for them,” Whatcott said.

They believe because 52% of employees remained engaged in employee surveys that about that amount remained engaged in work. 

We believe that by offering our employees flexibility with work and showing that we care about them that made a difference,” Cook said. “While the pandemic has been hard for everyone, I am excited that something clearly helpful and welcomed by our employees came out of it.”

South Jordan may consider keeping some jobs full-time remote in the future. 

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South Jordan employees keen on telecommuting as the ‘new normal’