Remote Work Metrics at a Glance
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, state agencies had to respond quickly to move staff and operations into virtual environments, most with very little advance planning. As the pandemic progressed, agencies became more adept, more efficient, and more successful in remote work environments, proving that many operations and employees can serve the public efficiently from a virtual workplace.
Prior to March 2020, fewer than 10% of State employees worked remotely. Several agencies participated in the State’s telework program, with some employees teleworking on specific days while other employees worked from virtual offices.
Results: Arizona Builds a Culture of Remote Work
Today’s technology means work happens anywhere, everywhere, and around the clock. Arizona is leading the way among state governments by embracing a culture of remote work. Removing the requirements to report to a physical location (when possible) affords more work/life flexibility, increases employee satisfaction and productivity, and results in better service to the citizens of Arizona.
As of April 2023, 15,829 employees, 41% percent of the State of Arizona workforce, worked remotely, either full-time from a virtual office or on a periodic telecommuting schedule. Spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, what started as an emergency response in March 2020 quickly proved to be a successful pilot. Based on this early success, Arizona set a course to create a new culture, one built on trust, accountability, flexibility, and improved service to its citizens.
Number of State Employees Participating in Remote Work
(at least one day per pay period)
Results: Saving Space and Consolidating Services to Streamline Productivity
With this increase in remote work, the State of Arizona has been able to consolidate its physical footprint, vacate rented office buildings, and re-locate agencies that do similar work into combined workspaces that increase collaboration and better serve constituents.
As of April 2023, this consolidation has saved taxpayers $10,139,409 in rental savings. This has also reduced the overall physical footprint by 746,515 square feet, (almost thirteen football fields)!
Results: Increasing Employee Satisfaction and Retaining Institutional Knowledge
In the 2022 State Employees Engagement Survey, 88 percent of employees responded favorably when asked whether remote work has had a positive impact on their work experience. A total of 91 percent of employees responded favorably when asked whether their supervisors support their remote work needs.
Results: Environmental Impact*
Arizona’s remote workforce is improving the environment. State employees in Maricopa County reduced their commute by over 266 million miles from February 2020 through March 2023, averting 118,716 tons of carbon dioxide emissions and 106.11 tons of nitrogen oxides from our air.
*For these calculations, the average miles per trip was obtained from the 2021 and 2022 annual travel reduction surveys and the number of telework days was obtained from the state’s human resources information system (HRIS system). The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Air Quality Division provided the average emissions rates for Maricopa County to calculate emissions averted.