Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The telecommuting trend

A few days ago, I posted about gas prices and freelance writers. Of course, while rising gas prices do affect many of us, they don't as much as, say, someone who commutes an hour in each direction every day. Even if rising fuel prices impact us in other areas, we are lucky to be able to do our work from home.

Michael and I have often talked about whether fuel prices will lead to telecommuting as a standard for office-type jobs. Judging by this story on NPR, it seems the answer is yes — many companies are already trending toward telecommuting, or at least toward a condensed workweek. For these companies, breaking with tradition is preferable to losing valuable, experienced employees because they can no longer afford their commute.

The other thing that is happening is that people are looking for work closer to home. This is something Michael and I have talked about too — how we're either going to have to develop a better public transit system in this country, or go back to a structure where people live in small, self-sustaining communities and have everything they need within walking (or biking) distance. The latter is really a return to the way things were 100 or more years ago, which I find interesting. Our gas-guzzling way of life just wasn't sustainable over the long term.


Kathy@TheFlawlessWord said...

I know of three people who are able to telecommute partially or in full. When my cousin decided to have kids, she wanted to be at home with them. Rather than lose her as an employee altogether, her company agreed to let her work at home full time. She now only has to go into the office for occasional meetings. Another cousin's husband has a 50-mile commute each way. Fortunately, he is allowed to work from home once or twice per week. Nonetheless, the gas situation has to be killing him. My best friend is in a similar situation. Her commute is about 25 miles each way, but she works from home one day per week. It's not as ideal as freelancing, but it's better than nothing.

Katharine Swan said...

It's not as ideal as freelancing, but it's better than nothing.

I completely agree. :o)

I really think telecommuting will be the way of the future, though. It's only a matter of time.

Anonymous said...

I also think that telecommuting will become a way of the future once employers see all the benefits it brings.

One of the biggest for me is that I have less distractions than an onsite job. I don't have to put up with the 'office politics' or a co-worker disrupting me with their doggie doo horror stories and how they had to clean it up.

I also have more time to work as I don't have to spend time getting my child ready, drive them to daycare, and then drive to work. That took quite a bit of time in the day on that alone. Now that time is spent on my work.

steve said...

Well my brother has a similar kinda case where in i am not denying the facts of the commuting each way..But now after shifting to another company now he works from home 2 days per week.
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