Telecommuting's Powerful Benefits
More than 34 million Americans telecommute at least occasionally. While it might not be for everyone, the future of telework appears bright.
Last month I wrote a post in which I wondered whether federal agencies could set a good telecommuting example for the private sector. I wondered whether the winter "Snowmageddon" that essentially shut down the nation's capitol for several days, stranding many federal workers at home with limited capabilities to do their jobs, might give new momentum to what had been a stalled effort to increase the numbers of federal telecommuters.
When I wrote the post, legislation that would have expanded federal telework options had failed to pass in the House of Representatives. As a commenter on the post pointed out, the defeat smacked of partisanship. No Democrat voted against the bill, which was similar to one that had been passed by the House during the Bush administration.
The commenter, who identified herself as a Republican, listed the myriad benefits both she and the government would enjoy with telecommuting. For her: saved hours of drive time that could be spent working and less money spent on gas, parking, car maintenance and eating out. For the government: reduced real estate costs, a larger pool of possible hires since relocation wouldn't be required, better disaster recovery (no more "Snowmageddon"), cleaner air and possibly reduced road maintenance due to fewer workers on the highways.