WASHINGTON, DC—If you believe time is money, you are going to love the Telework Exchange. The public-private partnership focused on demonstrating the tangible value of telework just announced that Telework Week 2012 is scheduled for March 5-9, 2012.

"Telework Week 2012 is an opportunity to highlight the many benefits of telework—enabling us to enhance workplace efficiency, improve the environment, ensure our safety, and improve our quality of life," says Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.), author of the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010.

The second year of Telework Week encourages government agencies, businesses, and individuals to pledge to telework, as well as calculate potential commuter cost savings and environmental impact during Telework Week 2012. In 2011, nearly 40,000 individuals and organizations pledged to telework during Telework Week, collectively saving $2.7 million in commuting costs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 1,818 tons.

"According to Telework Week 2011, if all full-time wage and salary workers in the U.S. telework two days a week for one year, they would collectively save more than $215 billion in commuting costs," says Cindy Auten, general manager for Telework Exchange. "That's important in this economy. The goal for 2012 is to take Telework Week to the max. Telework savings are substantial, and we want to demonstrate not only why to do it, but how to do it."

According to a recent report by The Texas Transportation Institute, the average U.S. commuter spends 34 hours a year in traffic—and by 2020, that number will increase to 41. Working from a virtual office offers a critical solution to the nation's traffic gridlock. Virtual offices also support workforce productivity, enhanced recruitment and retention, reduced real estate, and increased operational efficiency and continuity. It’s all part of alternative workplace strategies.

"Through our involvement with Telework Week, we hope to educate and inspire participants in all stages of telework planning to shift into high gear for program execution,” says Patrick Finn, vice president of U.S. Federal Organization at Cisco. “Approximately 70 percent of Cisco's workforce relies on mobile collaboration, so we understand the value teleworking brings to organizations by increasing productivity and field effectiveness, and making smarter use of human capital."

If you are a virtual office user—or even if you are not—consider pledging to telework and calculating your potential commuter cost and environmental savings. There is no cost to pledge.

Check out this video on a telework experiment in Georgia: