Working from home pays off, state telecommuting experiment results show

SALT LAKE CITY — The State of Utah has spent a year collecting data to show telecommuters are just as productive as office workers, but in the end, they got different results.

They showed telecommuters are more productive.

“In fact, we saw a 23 percent increase,” said Lt. Governor Spencer Cox.

Four state agencies had 136 workers telecommute, meaning they worked from home for at least three days a week.

Each of the employees had a job with colleagues in equivalent positions in a state office so they could evaluate comparative results.

Increased productivity wasn't the only benefit to telecommuting — the workers sacrificed their personal office spaces, allowing the state to save in infrastructure costs. They helped air quality by avoiding the commute. And at least one employee relocated to a rural area, injecting money to a less affluent area in the state.

The state plans to increase its telecommuting workforce to more than 2,500 within 18 months.