Mobile worker programs touch all aspects of local government, from fleet vehicles and government buildings to ongoing expenditures such as fuel and personal vehicle reimbursements to the mobile workers themselves. Looking at this issue holistically can help shape policies that leverage expenditures across departments more effectively while retaining employees who need flexible and creative approaches to where and how work gets done.
Local governments are under increasing pressure to maximize service and to minimize costs during a time of resource scarcity and flattening or declining budgets. A recent study by Runzheimer International, an ICMA strategic partner, estimates that an employer’s average mobility costs–such as for travel, virtual offices, relocations, fleet vehicles, and aircraft–are equivalent to or higher than what an organization spends on health care. Relocation and aircraft are often minor or nonexistent items for local governments, but travel, fleet vehicles, and virtual offices/ telecommuting are integral to nearly all operations. Understanding the financial impacts and opportunities related to mobile employees can alleviate fiscal duress and makes good management sense.