ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque City Council is meeting Monday evening and one of the items on the agenda is introducing a study that could lead to nearly a thousand city employees working from home, permanently. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced employees to quickly adapt to working at home. Now that City of Albuquerque employees have been working from home for nearly a year, City Councilor Klarissa Peña conducted a study to see how much money the city could save by keeping about 940 employees at home.
“Through the analysis that was conducted, they came up with two models… one of them says it could be, it could be a cost-benefit for the city but there are obviously hurdles with anything that you do right,” said Councilor Peña
According to the analysis, there would be one time costs like getting all 940 employees a work computer and required software. The group of 940, work in many different city departments from aviation to the Albuquerque Police Department to Parks and Recreation. The analysis also breaks down three options, the first is having all 940 employees work from home full time, having the 940 people split their time between working at home and at the office, or only having 470 employees work at home full time.
Depending on the model, the city could save about $3.5 million by keeping employees at home, cutting down costs from electricity, water, and office supplies. Councilor Peña also believes this would be good for working parents. “Childcare for lots of families is a really difficult situation. You know seeing meetings, now that you see on Zoom, where you have children in the background and it’s just wonderful how families can still do exactly what they need to do, make sure their job is done and still be there for their families,” Councilor Peña said.
Councilor Peña also believes productivity would not be an issue. The study is now in the hands of the Council’s Finance and Government Operation Committee. If passed, it would head back to the full council. About 5,000 people work for the City of Albuqueqrue, so Councilor Peña says having 940 of them potentially working from home is, overall, a small percentage of staff; It would be about 19%.