Via Meadia often talks about the importance of telecommuting for the future of the American economy. Many businesses these days allow employees to work from home. But how can a manager make sure they aren’t slacking off? One solution involves new software and management techniques that make it possible for managers to monitor their employees’ productivity, even from afar. It’s a slight invasion of privacy, when your boss has access to the websites you visit during the work day, but many people are happy to pay that price in return for the comforts of a home office and the flexibility to run a few errands during the day.This new software and other monitoring techniques are making it possible for more and more companies to allow employees to work from home at least part of the time. This is an important trend in the American economy.More specifically, the more Americans who work from home, the less impact on the environment they will have. Less commuting, less greenhouse gas emissions. Smart greens could do more for the environment by promoting this trend than by chasing after fantasies like cap and trade and boondoggles like high-speed rail.The future is coming faster than you think.