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Guest Opinion To Local Media: “Enjoying less traffic? Keep teleworking. It’s working!”

TMA News | June 5th, 2021

Our executive director Steve Noll has provided a guest opinion to the Bucks County Courier Times and The Intelligencer: “Enjoying less traffic? Keep teleworking. It’s working!”

Check out the article HERE or read below:

We have learned much over the course of this ongoing pandemic. One major takeaway is that teleworking/telecommuting is possible, and not just possible, but productive, and in some ways now necessary.

Finding an issue that everyone can agree on is not easy, but there is one thing during the past year-and-a-half we can all appreciate as a result of the pandemic: fewer cars on the roads throughout Bucks County means less congestion. Ease in getting from point A to point B makes for happy drivers. In the height of stay-at-home orders, essential workers had shorter commutes, arrived to work on time, and didn’t have to battle the clock or congestion.

Data from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission backs this up, as drive times on several key corridors in Bucks County saw significant improvements. For example, the morning commute on I-295 from NJ 29 (Delaware River) to US 1 saw a 54.6 percent reduction in traffic on the road and Street Road from US 1 to PA 611 (Easton Road) saw a 29.9 percent reduction in traffic.

Guess what? This doesn’t and shouldn’t have to end.

Telecommuting should not be viewed as a “pandemic thing” for businesses. Results from a recent survey conducted by Duke University’s Center for Advanced Hindsight in Mass Transit Magazine show that telecommuting worked out well for most employers and employees during the pandemic and that many would like it to continue in some form. Among the benefits highlighted: more productivity, more time with families, and lower greenhouse gas emissions since cars remained parked in driveways.

TMA Bucks recently conducted a survey of our membership and stakeholders. They agree that remote work should be here to stay as 81.8 percent say they will still allow telecommuting in some form once the pandemic has passed. Even more impressively, only 3.4 percent said they will not allow it all while 14.8 percent said they remain undecided.

For telecommuting, the time is now and the future of the work place is here. The businesses that embrace it will be the businesses that advance, innovate, and grow. The businesses that try to go back to the “old way” will struggle to retain workers, not be able to attract new talent, and be left sitting in traffic.

The past year-and-a-half has taught us that a better work/life balance is not only possible but valued. A happy employee is more inclined to stay with a company or job longer when they can start their work day without the stress of getting out the door and dealing with the daily grind of traffic and congestion.

For many businesses, there are numerous benefits to moving to a remote or hybrid model. Fewer workers in the office means cutting down on space needed and used, reducing overhead dramatically. No longer are businesses limited to a specific pool of candidates. They can expand their reach to applicants across the country, allowing them to hire the best of the best.

Telecommuting worked, is working, and can continue to work. It can help reduce the number of cars on the roads and reduce tailpipe emissions to help improve our air quality – things we can all get behind.

We understand that not every position or company can perform its duties remotely, but those that can will contribute to the solution to the lingering problem of traffic congestion on our roads.

Keep teleworking. It’s working!

Stephen Noll
Executive Director
TMA Bucks