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Workforce Development: Modern Work Environment

What is a modern work environment?

WSDOT is implementing initiatives to attract and retain our workforce. We do this with (click through the tabs to discover)


A satisfying work environment

How do we measure a satisfying work environment?

We survey employees annually. We aim to improve surveyed employee overall work environment satisfaction scores up to 65% by February 2021.


Progress Target
FY2019 FY2021
Work Environment Index: Overall Satisfaction
69%  Arrow to right  65% Meets or exceeds target
Exceeds target

Why did we pick this target?

WSDOT strives to be an employer of choice, so increasing employee satisfaction with their work environment is an important measure. WSDOT has initiatives underway to emphasize flexible work options. This indicator will help measure our progress.


Source: WSDOT Office of Human Resources and Safety.


More about satisfying work environment

Why is a modern work environment important?

WSDOT prioritizes creating a modern work environment through opportunities such as providing telework and alternate work schedule options, as well as work/life balance programs such as the Infant at Work program. This creates an organizational culture that empowers employees with choice, enables excellent employee performance, supports all generations and is mindful of our environmental impact. Modern Work Environment strategies support Results WSDOT goals and Governor Inslee’s statewide modern work environment goals outlined in Executive Order 16-07.

How are we doing?

In 2019, WSDOT had a work environment satisfaction score of 69% based on the Washington State Employee Engagement Survey. This exceeds WSDOT's target of 65% by February 2021.

What are we working on?

WSDOT is working to increase the number of employees with access to telework and alternate or compressed work schedule opportunities. WSDOT also recognizes the importance of work/life balance for all employees through resources like the Infant at Work program. The agency strives to provide tools that allow employees to collaborate with flexibility and foster work environments that contribute positively to an employee’s well-being.

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Telework opportunities


How do we measure telework opportunities?

We aim to increase telework participation rates for eligible employees at WSDOT to 12% by December 2020.


Progress Target
2019 2020
Telework participation percent
21% Arrow to right 12% Meets or exceeds target
Exceeds target

Why did we pick this target?

WSDOT is seeking to adopt technology and policies that support a culture of "It’s what you do, not where you do it" in order to attract and retain talent while maintaining or improving business operations and customer service. As of 2019, WSDOT achieved 21% telework participation and exceeded the goal we committed to achieve based on the Governor’s initiative.

Source: WSDOT Office of Human Resources and Safety.


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Why is creating telework opportunities a priority?

Telework is an important tool for achieving a resilient and results-oriented workforce, allowing WSDOT to be more adaptive and responsive to customers while optimizing our facility footprint. A mobile workforce provides employees flexibility in how, when and where work is done—so employees can have work/life balance, improved wellness, increased job satisfaction and remain engaged in their work.

How are we doing?

In February of 2018, WSDOT reviewed and revised the agency telework policy, adding a new Telework Program Handbook and a simplified process for seeking telework approval. As of 2019, WSDOT exceeded its goal of having 12% of eligible employees opting to telework two or more days per month.

What are we working on?

We are monitoring the implementation of the telework policy and working with managers on training and other strategies to continue exceeding our goal of 12% through 2020.

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Alternate work Schedules

How do we measure alternate work schedules?

We aim to improve participation in compressed and flexible work schedules for eligible WSDOT employees to 67% and 63%, respectively, by December 2020


Progress Target
2019 2020
Compressed work schedule
55%  Arrow to right  67% on track status icon
on track
Flex work schedule
76%  Arrow to right  63% Meets or exceeds target
Exceeds target

Compressed work schedule: Employees work fewer than 10 days every two weeks, but work longer hours each day.
Flex work schedule: Employees are able to work outside the core business hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Why did we pick this target?

WSDOT offers compressed work schedules and flexible work schedules to eligible employees. Our technology and policies support a culture of “It’s what you do, not where you do it” to attract and retain talent while maintaining or improving business operations and customer service. This strategy follows the adoption of Governor Jay Inslee’s Executive Order “Building a Modern Work Environment” which directs state agencies to increase participation in telework and flexible work hours.



Source: WSDOT Office of Human Resources and Safety.

More about alternate work schedules

Why are the opportunities to work flexible schedules and compressed
work weeks important?

WSDOT offers compressed work schedules and flexible work schedules to eligible employees in support of Gov. Jay Inslee's "Sustainable energy and a clean environment" goals in Results Washington. WSDOT’s alternative work schedules and compressed work week opportunities seek to promote flexibility, collaboration and productivity for employees, while maintaining WSDOT’s high standards for work and customer service.

How are we doing?

WSDOT exceeded its flexible work schedule goal of 63%, obtaining 76% in 2019. The percentage of employees working compressed works schedules increased to 55% in the same time period. WSDOT is marketing these already-high participation rates to increase interest from prospective candidates for positions at WSDOT and looking to stretch further to achieve our goal.

What are we working on?

WSDOT is completing a review of positions stationed at Washington State Ferries (WSF) to determine position eligibility for both compressed and flexible schedules based on the current Office of Financial Management definition. Once this review is complete, it is likely that WSDSOT will achieve its goals in both areas.

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Modern work infrastructure

How do we measure modern work infrastructure?

WSDOT endeavors to provide tools that encourage mobility and reflect a modern work environment.


Baseline     Target    
FY2018 July 2021
Percent of workstations that are mobile
42%  Arrow to right  55% On track status icon
On track





Source: WSDOT Information Technology Division.

Note: Data do not include HATS iPads, UCO or Ferries SU.


More about modern work infrastructure

Why is infrastructure important in creating a modern work environment?

Governor Jay Inslee and WSDOT Secretary Roger Millar stress the importance of prioritizing a modern work environment through policies and tools that support greater worker mobility. In order to make WSDOT employees more productive, regardless of place or time, they need tools and resources to make remote work possible.

How are we doing?

At the start of the 2017-2019 biennium, 39% of all deployed WSDOT workstations were mobile (Windows tables or laptops). Increasing access to mobile devices allows interested and eligible employees to participate in telework and flexible work schedules, as well as work remotely at other offices or remote locations. Funding for the 2017-2019 biennium reflects this priority, allocating 49% of all workstation lifecycle preservation dollars to mobile devices. As of July 1, 2018–halfway through the biennium–42% of all workstations were mobility-focused. Laptops and tablets typically cost $500 or more per device, and typically need replacing more frequently than desktops; WSDOTs current budget doesn’t have the capacity to replace desktops with laptops for all the end-users who request mobile devices.

What are we working on?

WSDOT is defining agency-wide goals for distributing mobile versus fixed desktop devices. This will provide a more focused strategic direction and roadmap for migrating to mobility-capable workstations. WSDOT submitted an Information Technology Infrastructure funding request that, if approved, would enable the agency to replace end of life equipment on a schedule more closely aligned with the Office of Financial Management’s generally accepted accounting principles for four-year lifecycle preservation of workstations. The agency is also assessing and expanding the use of software designed to facilitate secure access to applications and content for those working remotely.

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Spotlight on Infant at Work program


Spotlight How do we measure successful classification/compensation changes?
We provide opportunities for employees to participate in WSDOT’s Infant at Work program.
Tim Wiess with his daughter Grace Malika Godo with her son David
Ferries worker Tim Wiess with his daughter Grace (left) and Malika Godo from the Office of Equal Opportunity with her son David (right) are participants in the WSDOT Infant at Work program.

Source: WSDOT Office of Human Resources and Safety.


More about spotlight on Infant at Work program

Why is the Infant at Work program a priority?

The Infant at Work Program allows parents to maintain a work/life balance, promote parent-child bonding and create more flexibility to work in lieu of taking leave.

How are we doing?

The Infant at Work Program began as a pilot program on March 1, 2017. As of March 2019, 37 parent/infant pairs have participated in the program. The graph above will be updated when all 2019 data is available.

What are we working on?

WSDOT is committed to continuing to evaluate the effectiveness of this program by surveying participants and the workgroups of participants.

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Spotlight on the modern workplace


Spotlight Spotlight on the modern workplace
We strive to provide a modern workplace for all WSDOT employees. One example of this effort is the new North Central WSDOT Regional Headquarters in Wenatchee (pictured below). The building replaces an outdated building from 1934 and incorporates elements of the state’s ongoing modern workplace initiatives.

Image of Old North Central building (old looking building)
Old North Central building:
North Wenatchee Avenue
Image of New North Central building (modern looking building)
New North Central building:
Euclid Avenue
New North Central building office
New North Central building hall way
New North Central building windows

Interior photos of the new North Central building. Modern workplace efforts at WSDOT greatly enhance the work environment for employees and improve service delivery for agency customers and the traveling public.

Source: WSDOT Capital Facilities Division.


More about modern work workplace

Why is creating a modern workplace a priority?

WSDOT strives to improve both tangible and intangible workplace amenities to better attract and retain talent. WSDOT is purposefully listening to employees and incorporating modern design trends into workplaces to use space more efficiently. Increased efficiencies reduce space need, lessen ongoing costs to taxpayers and minimize greenhouse gas emissions.

Both WSDOT and the state of Washington have recognized the importance of creating a modern workplace. Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar issued a Modern Workplace Executive Order (SEO 1099) to encourage modernization at WSDOT. Governor Inslee has prioritized a modern workplace through Executive Order 16-07, as well as through the inclusion of a modern workplace initiative in the Results Washington performance management plan. The Office of Financial Management (OFM) is committed to this goal as well, by helping agencies identify, experiment with and adopt innovative ways to support their business by modernizing the physical environment, providing greater workplace flexibility and enabling a more mobile workforce. OFM recently released a new Space Use Policy, as well as updated Use Guidelines.

How are we doing?

WSDOT works to implement EO 16-07, SEO 1099 and OFM’s Space Use Policy wherever possible. The modern workplace effort at WSDOT uses the new OFM guidelines for projects with newly acquired space or substantial remodels of the existing workplace. For these cases, WSDOT uses involved analysis tools to gain a deeper understanding of the organization’s needs, wants and unique mechanics of service delivery.

Modern workplace efforts are not limited to only these two scenarios. For example, WSDOT has pursued general workplace modernization through projects located in the Transportation Building, the Edna Lucille Goodrich Building and the recently constructed North Central Region Headquarters Building.

Detailed analysis tools are not required for all space related projects, but there is a growing desire to better understand staff needs, improve service delivery to our customers and stay current with best management space practices.

What are we working on?

WSDOT has multiple projects under development that will greatly enhance the workplace for our employees and improve service delivery for agency customers and the traveling public.

First, WSDOT is currently working on a substantial remodel of the Northwest Regional Headquarters building. The new building is an eagerly awaited upgrade that will house approximately 400 employees. The project is expected to be completed in summer 2021 and reduce WSDOT’s existing footprint by 36% (58,647 square feet).

The agency is also developing a new campus in Lacey for the relocation of the Olympic Region Headquarters. This project will replace the existing buildings and functions currently located in Tumwater with new, modern buildings that will meet current needs and follow modern workplace design cues. When finished, the newly constructed and appropriately sized Olympic Region Headquarters campus will reinforce WSDOT’s commitment to be an employer of choice.

Upcoming projects

WSDOT has several modern workplace projects in the planning and employee engagement stages. There are a variety of smaller projects that incorporate modern work elements in several offices throughout Headquarters. Additionally, the Tacoma Project Engineer Office is currently in the process of selecting a location for a project that will relocate 24 employees who are currently stationed in Fife.

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