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Teleworkin' It
Telework Is Taking Off

Telework is on its way to becoming a standard business practice. A new survey (h/t Mobile Work Exchange) of more than 1,000 employers found that 67 percent of workplaces allow their employees to work from home occasionally, up from just 50 percent six years ago. 38 percent of employers permit regular telework, up a whopping 15 points from 23 percent in 2008. The option to work remotely is gaining ground across America.

This practice should continue to gain momentum. As more employers offer the option to work from home to potential employees, the best and the brightest will gravitate towards workplaces that allow them to telework. To stay competitive, more and more employers will have to put telework policies in place.

This isn’t just good news for employees, who reap the physical, mental, and social benefits of the increased flexibility that telework provides, or a boon for employers, who can save money on office real estate. More broadly, telework is good for the environment. Cutting down the time Americans spend commuting will decrease the emissions of both greenhouse gases and hazardous air pollution.

As we continue to transition to an information economy, being physically present at work will become less of a requirement. Employers are catching on to this new reality, and everyone—Gaia included—stands to benefit.

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  • Corlyss

    Very scanty results, really. The trend is positive,however. Very bad news for unions as well . . . .[hehehe].

    • Andrew Allison

      I agree. The statistic of interest is not the number of employers who allow work from home, but the percentage of employees how are allowed to do so.

      • Jim__L

        Well, one is a gateway to the other. I agree that the trend is positive.

        It’s interesting that the number of Remote Office companies (like Sandbox Suites) is increasing. Pay a monthly fee, and you can work in any of several different locations in San Fransisco, Berkeley, or Santa Clara — whatever location is most convenient for you at the time.

        It would be great for the entire country if these sorts of arrangements became much more common — a nationwide chain of offices-on-demand, with reliable WiFi, standard workplace amenities, (tele)conference rooms, and affordable satellite office space, would work wonders for the employment opportunities for cities and towns across the country.

        I think that every small-town Chamber of Commerce needs to start thinking of ways to bring these sorts of office spaces to their areas. High tech jobs where you can afford housing, with yards … high tech jobs where you can live near your extended families … high tech jobs wherever you happen to want to live, for whatever reason. The opportunities are staggering.

        • Andrew Allison

          I guess I didn’t make myself clear. The questions: are how many employees work for the companies who allow work from home, how many of them actually do so, and what is the overall percentage of all employees who are working from home. What’s important is not how many companies allow it, but how many employees do it. Remote offices are an interesting development, but by definition not related to working from home.

          • Boritz

            Right you are. There are organizations that permit small teleworking “pilots” for no other reason than to be included in a list of teleworking friendly companies when they are anything but.

          • Jim__L

            I guess it’s how one defines “telework”. Anything involving a more convenient office than a central monolith could have many of the same benefits as working from home — arguably, even more benefits, like that of a more professional working environment.

            I wouldn’t be surprised if daycare centers evolved this arrangement in some areas. The potential for partnerships to make working people’s lives more convenient is enormous. Long-distance, inter-city commuting could become a thing of the past in this generation.

          • Andrew Allison

            Did you miss, “A new survey (h/t Mobile Work Exchange) of more than 1,000 employers found that 67 percent of workplaces allow their employees to work from home occasionally”?

          • Jim__L

            Not disagreeing with you, just going off on my own tangent. 🙂

  • TeleworkingEmp

    One of the reasons that telecommuting is such a growing trend is because of the technology that’s making it easier for everyone. Cloud-based tools such as Skype, Dropbox, GoToMeeting, TeamViewer and more are benefiting teleworkers and their supervisors as well. There’s even a cloud-based software called MySammy ( that measures the productivity levels of telecommuters. It’s easy to see why this is one trend that will definitely keep growing in the future!

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