Many city and county workers, from police and firefighters to building inspectors, do most of their work on the go. However, many local governments need to better manage the costs of employee mobility, according to a report released Tuesday by the Washington-based International City/County Management Association (ICMA).

Mobility costs — such as travel, virtual offices, relocations and fleet vehicles — can be equal to or higher than the cost of health care premiums, according to ICMA's "Mobile Workforce Management," which was researched by Waterford, Wis.-based Runzheimer International. "In most organizations, management of these mobility areas is fragmented, with no clear executive line-of-sight," said Kraig Rodenbeck, Runzheimer's vice president of government services, in a statement. "Getting one's arms around the various policies and combined spending in these areas is a good first step toward better strategic management of mobile workforce programs."

"Mobile Workforce Management" includes examples of cities and counties that have implemented employee mobility initiatives, such as Loudoun County, Va.'s telework program and Philadelphia's fleet reduction efforts. "Local governments are looking for new ways to reduce costs and achieve more sustainable communities, " ICMA Director of Domestic Programs Susan Benton said in a statement. "Mobile workforce strategies offer effective approaches to doing just that."

Download ICMA's "Mobile Workforce Management".