“Work is something you do, not something you travel to.”
-Leonhard, Woody, The Underground Guide to Telecommuting, Addison-Wesley 1995

Teleworking, also referred to as telecommuting, is the act of working without going to the office, and thereby avoiding commute trips.  It’s one solution to traffic congestion caused by single-car commuting, and the resulting air pollution and petroleum use.

A successful telecommuting program requires a management style based on results and not on close scrutiny of individual employees, management by objectives as opposed to management by observation. According to a 2001 Employment Policy Foundation Study, 25 million working Americans worked at home once a month and 19.8 million (15%) of those workers worked at home once a week. Teleworking is a growing trend.

The benefits affect both the employee and the employer, especially those who face large operating costs related to the need for a central office. For the employee, initial investments in the network infrastructure and hardware are balanced by the potential for increased productivity. Employees working from home experience overall greater well-being as they spend more quality time with their family and endure less travel-related stress.

Telework flexibility is a desirable prerequisite for future employees. A 2008 Robert Half International Financial Hiring Index, a survey of 1,400 CFOs by recruitment firm Robert Half International, indicated that 13% consider telework the best recruiting incentive today.

Software has become available for employers and employees to use so that users can access their work PC desktop from any internet-ready computer. (e.g. GoToMyPC, LogMeIn, VNC, etc.)

If you are interested in implementing a telework program in your organization, please visit Best Workplaces for Commuters and take a look at “Telework Programs: Implementing Commuter Benefits as One of the Nation’s Best Workplaces for Commuters”.

And remember, just because you’re not at work doesn’t mean you’re not at work!