Alternative Schedules & Telecommuting

Ridesharing is not the only way to help clean the air and reduce traffic congestion. Here's another possibility which can benefit the environment and you personally...

The traditional work week is Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM each day with two days off (Saturday and Sunday). Some jobs may be done outside of this "regular" timeframe in what is commonly referred to as a "compressed work week." There are three different compressed work week alternative schedules available in City of Los Angeles departments:

  • The Nine-Eighty (9/80) Schedule -- This is the most popular schedule with City employees. On this schedule, an employee works 9 hours a day for 8 days and 8 hours a day for one day during the two-week pay period, thus getting an extra day off once every two weeks;
  • The Four-Ten (4/10) Schedule -- On this schedule an employee works 10 hours per day for 4 days, having three days off per week instead of the normal two.
  • The Three-Twelve (3/12) -- A limited number of jobs in the City are candidates for the 3/12 or 3/36 work week. On this schedule, an employee works 12 hours per day for 3 days per week. On alternating weeks, s/he must work one extra 8 hour day to complete the 80-hour pay period. While these are long hours, the benefit is getting four days off in one week and three days off in the next.

In all of the above examples, the same 80 hours are being worked in a two-week pay period. However, on a compressed work week schedule, you will make 1-4 fewer trips to your job site. Fewer trips reduces traffic congestion and smog and saves you commuting time.

Employees enjoy compressed work schedules because they have more time to spend at home with their families and friends. Also, extra days off don't have to fall on Mondays or Fridays. Many employees like taking mid-week days off so they can attend classes, participate in community or recreational activities, or run errands durring regular business hours.

City departments also benefit because business hours are expanded without costly overtime and fewer employee trips to the worksite helps the City to meet trip reduction goals set by the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

Not all jobs are appropriate for compressed work weeks or alternative schedules. If you are interested, ask your supervisor.

The results of some jobs are better measured in output rather than in time spent in the office. In some cases, it is easier to "move the work to the worker instead of moving the worker to the work." In very simple terms, telecommuting means working at home. In many cases, employees use home computers, modems, and other technological equipment, but in other situations, all that is necessary is a desk and a quiet place to work.

Telecommuting is a management option, not an employee entitlement.

Steps to Telecommuting
Step 1: Determine if you should telecommute. Anticipate how the switch to telecommuting will impact the following:
  • Your ability to accomplish your assignments;
  • Your acceptance in the work group;
  • Your career opportunities;
  • Your financial situation;
  • Your job satisfaction;
  • Your quality of life and worklife; and
  • Your relationships at home.
If you feel that telecommuting will bring you a net benefit, then proceed to Step 2.
Step 2: Develop a plan for telecommuting. Your immediate supervisor and higher-level managers are likely to be concerned about the following:
  • Why will you telecommute?
  • What advantages will this working style offer you?
  • Where will you work when telecommuting?
  • Which day or days of the week will you telecommute?
  • What hours will you work as a telecommuter?
  • If your office needs to reach you, what agreed-to times can they do so?
  • What materials and resources will you need at your off-site workplace?
  • Are you the type of person who can work independently and without much supervision?
Work out the answeres to these and other questions, and you should be more successful in convincing your boss and others who may be skeptical.
Step 3: Talk to your supervisor and fill out City of Los Angeles Telecommuting Application. To help your supervisor understand that telecommuting is a proven, practical approach to working, use the information provided here along with the City of Los Angeles Telecommuting Application. In addition, the Employee Benefits Office has a "Win-Win Telecommuting Agreement" form which must be completed. Remember that telecommuting must always be voluntary for both the telecommuter and his/her supervisor(s). Either may elect to discontinue the telecommuting with adequate prior notice.
Step 4: Set up a proper telecommuting workplace. Whether you work at home or at a nearby telecommuting business center, your office-away-from-the-office must meet certain minimum standards to help you work efficiently, effectively, and comfortably.

For more information about telecommuting or to obtain a City of Los Angeles Telecommuting Application, please call the Employee Benefits Division at (213) 978-1593.

An Equal Opportunity Employer