PHOENIX (November 10, 2021) - The State of Arizona’s Connected Workforce program was recognized with the Pandemic Pivot award at Valley Metro’s Clean Air Campaign Awards Luncheon last week.
The new award category recognizes an entity that adjusted its travel reduction program in the wake of the pandemic. The Arizona’s Connected Workforce program, launched in July 2020, drives a statewide cultural transformation that focuses on best practices for managing and coaching for performance over presence in order to increase the State’s ability to better serve the citizens of Arizona. From a telework program founded in 1990 with the goal of improving air quality by reducing commute-related pollution, the current program has expanded in scope and flexibility to include full-time virtual office, part-time telecommuting, hoteling spaces, and other alternative workplace arrangements that maximize the State’s office space while reducing physical footprint, decreasing air pollution, and allowing eligible employees work how they work best.
“We are thrilled the Arizona Connected Workforce program received the pandemic pivot award,” said Sarah Pirzada, Chief Operating Officer for the State. “Our team has worked diligently over the last year to transform where work is done by state employees to meet the changing demands of our customers and provide employees the best working environment possible. This meant thinking outside the box, adopting best practices and having options and resources beyond the traditional ‘desk.’”
Currently, more than 12,000 State employees in Maricopa County are teleworking, with many of those working in a permanent virtual office environment. The State has reduced its footprint by 553,000 square feet since January 2020 and saved taxpayers more than $3 million in annual cost savings.