Jakub Madej

With the heavy blizzard that hit New Haven yesterday, CTrides picked the correct time to launch their Connecticut Telework Week in conjunction with Yale University.

CTrides, a program run by the Connecticut Department of Transportation, helps residents find the best commuting options, whether that be via bus, carpool, bike or teleworking. Teleworking has become a common method for employees to work from home while being connected virtually to their places of work through different technologies. On Tuesday, the organization held a “virtual” press conference in the newly renovated Yale Center for Teaching and Learning to kick off a weeklong teleworking promotion aimed at both reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality.

In addition to the live press conference, two professionals tuned in to share their experiences and explain why teleworking has made their jobs more efficient.

Deborah Lindenman, associate director of talent development for the Organizational Effectiveness and Staff Development department at Yale, works from home on Wednesdays. Lindenman said that because she commutes 50 miles every day, teleworking saves her two, maybe even three hours at times.

“It really helps me hit the restart button as Wednesdays are in the middle of the week,” she said.

The New Haven Independent recently reported that traffic on local streets causes an average of 20 crashes or collisions per day. By making the streets less crowded, teleworking could not only make local driving safer, but it could also reduce traffic and decrease the time it takes for professionals to get to work.

CTrides Project Manager Russell McDermott said that the program gives Connecticut employers the tools to begin telework programs that could improve business continuity while still allowing employees to maintain their work-life balance. It also has an added environmental benefit, as it puts fewer cars on the road.

“[Teleworking is a way] to spend time more wisely while reducing traffic congestion on the roads,” McDermott said.

Through the Yale Sustainability Plan 2025 — a new plan introduced last October — the Yale Office of Sustainability plans to support and advocate for teleworking initiatives for the University.

Susan Abramson, manager of WorkLife and Child Care Programs at Yale, said she was wholly in support of the new teleworking initiatives.

“I encourage employers to review their telework policies and resources whenever possible,” she said.

In addition to Lindenman, Connecticut Water’s Donnel Brown, the company’s senior utilities customer service representative, also joined the conference virtually. When asked how her workday changes as a result of teleworking, she said there are only small differences. She experiences fewer interruptions throughout the day, she added, and is able to get more done.

Lindenman said teleworking requires a little more planning, as she saves the work she can do remotely for Wednesdays when she does not come into the office.

“Connecticut commuters average enough miles every year to drive around the earth,” McDermott said. “Reducing commuting is just one way teleworkhelps business and organizations.”

The Yale Office of Sustainability was established in 2005.