Why some state employees are working remotely today in Utah

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Utah state employees are experiencing their first Surge Remote Work day on Thursday.

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In March, Governor Spencer Cox signed Senate Bill 15, Workforce Solutions for Air Quality Amendments, into law, allowing Surge Remote Days to occur.

Surge Remote Days, according to state officials, are enacted to address air quality concerns and protect employee safety on days when there is bad air quality or other special circumstances, like blizzards.

“Remote work presents a cost-effective solution to many of our greatest challenges,” Governor Cox shares. “Even just one day of remote work saves pounds of pollutants from being released to the atmosphere, and the ability of our workforce to quickly adapt during snowstorms and other emergencies allows impressive continuity of service for our customers.”

State agencies were asked to identify employees eligible for remote work. Those positions may or may not also be eligible for Utah’s long-term remote work program, which began as a pilot program in 2019.

Officials say they’ve found remote work has increased employee satisfaction, allows rural applicants to apply for jobs traditionally limited to the Wasatch Front, decreases air pollution, and saves taxpayer dollars.

“We hope that more Utahns will join us as we take action to keep employees off of dangerous roads and reduce pollutants to keep our communities healthy,” says SB15 sponsor Senator Dan McCay.

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