Rachael Van Cleave, Communications Manager/PIO
Direct: (801) 446-4357, Ext. 1240
Cell: (385) 267-5413
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Telecommuting is the “New Normal” for the City of South Jordan
(SOUTH JORDAN, UT – May 6, 2021) The pandemic forced many people to work from home for nearly a year. At South Jordan, our employees have made it clear they want a remote work arrangement to stay.
“The feedback from our workforce about working remotely has been immensely positive,” said Teresa Cook, human resources director for South Jordan. “We conducted a survey in June 2020 for all of our remote workers and their supervisors to find out how that experience was going. Of the 134 employee invited to participate in the survey, 129 responded.”
Cook said that type of response rate is unheard of and is indicative of the enthusiasm for working from home.
“Our employees are happier than ever to work for the City, and not in small part due to the willingness to offer flexibility for our workforce,” Cook said.
The survey also revealed that both supervisors and employees felt that they were just as productive if not more productive working from home. In fact, 100% of remote employees reported improved or the same level of work quality as on-site and 67% of supervisors in all seven departments reported the same or improved work quality and productivity from their employees.
“It’s been great to hear how well this program has gone,” said Gary Whatcott, South Jordan city manager. “Our employees are happier, and in some cases more productive than they were before, and our supervisors love that they can give their employees more flexibility in their work environment.”
The City’s level of service was also maintained during the pandemic.
“We were able to pivot to work from home and maintain productivity and service levels for our residents, which is a big win,” Cook said.
The City had allowed remote work since 2014, but it was rarely used. Whatcott shared his vision of expanding the City’s remote work program in 2019, and a plan was developed to use the program to improve employee engagement, retention, and work/life balance and city efficiency.
“Employees will get to work anywhere from one to three days remotely with the new program and we’ve given each division the flexibility to determine what works for them,” Whatcott said.
The City saw that despite the pandemic employees remained engaged in the annual employee engagement survey, which showed 52% of our workforce remained engaged in work.
We believe that by offering our employees flexibility with work and showing that we care about them that made a difference,” Cook said. “While the pandemic has been hard for everyone, I am excited that something clearly helpful and welcomed by our employees came out of it.”
In the future, the City is looking into designating some jobs as full-time remote positions, which would save on costs and space.
South Jordan is proud to be named WalletHub’s 2nd Best City for Access to Resources and the 22nd Best Place Overall in America for 2018. We are honored to be chosen by USA Today, for being chosen as one of the Top 50 Best Cities in America to Live In in 2017, with the highest ranking of any city in the state, and to have South Jordan’s Daybreak Community named the Best Place in America to Retire, by Where to Retire Magazine.