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Skyline Graphic: Courtesy of Michael Tompsett

July 24, 2020

City of Durham Teleworking Survey

Purpose

The City of Durham, like many cities and organizations across the country, has had to adapt many of its operations in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. For the City of Durham, one of these adaptations includes expanding teleworking. Since March 2020, a large portion of the workforce has been teleworking.

Inspired by local government peers, namely Kansas City, Missouri, the Office of Performance and Innovation within Durham’s Budget and Management Services Department worked with the Transportation Department, Human Resources Department, and City Attorney’s Office to develop and administer a survey that assessed City of Durham employees’ perceptions of and experiences with teleworking.

The results of the survey will help inform future revisions to the City’s teleworking policy.

Methodology & Survey Instrument

All City of Durham employees were invited to participate in the Teleworking Survey. The survey was announced in the June 22, 2020 employee weekly newsletter, City Week, and on June 25th a follow-up email was sent to departmental Message Managers, who helped spread the word within their Departments. The survey closed a week later at 6:00PM on June 29th.

The survey included a total of 26 questions; depending on respondents’ selections for two skip logic questions, there were fewer questions asked. Only one question was required for all respondents – their work location.

Who Participated

A total of 584 employees took the survey:

  • 23% of the organization participated in the survey
  • 35% of respondents were supervisors
  • 68% of respondents have worked for the City of Durham 4+ years
  • 64% of respondents were teleworking, 16% were working in-person/on-site, 21% were doing a combination of in-person/on-site and teleworking.

Summary Results

Most respondents, notably supervisors, report a more positive view of teleworking now than before COVID-19.

All respondents:

All respondents opinion about teleworking

Supervisors:

Supervisors opinion about teleworking

Respondents across all age ranges, notably those 46 and older, have more positive views of teleworking now than pre-COVID.

Respondents ages and teleworking responses

Most (88%) respondents noted they viewed multi-day telecommuting as a benefit that employers should offer permanently. Most respondents (93%) indicated they were interested in telecommuting between two to five days a week permanently.

Day preference

Respondents were able to select the top three challenges and benefits associated with teleworking.

  • Challenges: Most respondents indicated they were not experiencing any challenges associated with teleworking (32%), followed by technological challenges (29%) and reduced team cohesiveness (29%).
  • Benefits: Reduced commute – time saved (75%) was the most frequently selected benefit followed by reduced commute – money saved (65%) and increased productivity (53%).

The survey also asked employees about their sense of connectedness and how they viewed their supervisor and the organization in light of teleworking and COVID-19. Curious about these survey results? Check out the presentation here. Have more questions about this survey, contact Darin – Strategy & Performance Analyst – at Darin.Johnson@durhamnc.gov.

Next Steps

City leadership will use results from the Teleworking Survey to help inform future revisions to the City’s teleworking policy.

July 17, 2020

WELCOME

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Welcome to the City of Durham Office of Performance & Innovation’s blog. We’re a team of seven dedicated public servants who enjoy serving the Durham community (we’ll be sure to introduce ourselves in a more personable way in due time). We are a Division within the City’s Budget and Management Services Department.

The Office of Performance & Innovation (OPI) exists to help City of Durham departments maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of their work by providing support, consulting, and skill building in the areas of strategic planning, innovation, process improvement, and program design and evaluation. We have a special interest in keeping the community/resident/customer at the center of all our work.

In short, we help the organization envision, evaluate, and innovate - all with the purpose of contributing to making Durham a great place to live, work, play, and do business. Here on our blog we’ll share more in-depth glimpses into our work.

We look forward to sharing how we contribute to the uniqueness that is the Bull City.

Best,

Monica Croskey Chaparro

Assistant Budget & Management Services Director, Strategy & Performance