Alaska Airlines which is located in the Centerpoint businesses park along with its subsidiary Horizon Air received a Diamond Award for Special Achievement. These two Kent-based airline reservations call centers were recognized for their innovative telework program, the “Work From Home Agent Program”.
Originated at the request of employees, the Work From Home Agent Program has turned out to be a win-win situation for both employees and the company. Alaska Airlines works with each employee to set up an appropriate workspace in the home and supplies the necessary software and technical support. Agents are required to come into the office two days per month to keep the employees engaged with the company and with fellow co-workers.
Benefits for the company include worksite lease savings as well as reduced parking needs. Benefits for employees include less time lost to commuting, less overall stress, reduced carbon footprint and most importantly -- more time with their families. During inclement weather this program has been beneficial as it keeps agents off the roads and saves the company hotel costs to keep employees at work and able to support customers.
When the program started in 2007, there were 39 employees working from home and 159 coming to the office each day. By 2013 the total employment has grown while the in-office work staff has continued to drop. There are now 193 employees working from home and only 54 in the office.
Other Alaska/Horizon benefits include a $60 subsidy to all employees who use an alternative commute option, support of Bike to Work Day by hosting a refreshment and relief station for all bicycling commuters, prizes for Alaska/Horizon top performers, and a Home Free Guarantee program for employees who participate in the Commute Trip Reduction Program.