Magazine article Workforce

Telecommuting Finds a Place of Its Own

Magazine article Workforce

Telecommuting Finds a Place of Its Own

Article excerpt

Everywhere you turn, someone is trying to be the first to pronounce telecommuting dead. In a December 2000 article, The Los Angeles Times pointed out that AT&T and other companies have only 5 percent of their workforce telecommuting-well below where they expected to be by now.

Salon.com's managing editor, Scott Rosenberg, observes that Silicon Valley, home of the technology integral to telecommuting, "remains the national capital of jammed freeways, overcrowded employee parking lots, and housing shortages. The mantra is, `You've gotta be here;' telecommuting apparently can't rival the synergy achieved by the valley's concentration of brains, creativity, and money."

But if telecommuting hasn't exploded as predicted, reports of its death have certainly been exaggerated. Indeed, many companies are still finding it to be a useful and cost-effective tool. A recent survey by Telework America claims that there are currently 16.5 million teleworkers in the United States, an increase of 17 percent since 1999. Included in that number are temporary and contract workers, who according to contract employee recruiter Aquent Talent Agency, now account for nearly a quarter of the workforce. …

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