Clogged roadways, rising gas prices and climate change worries are just some of the reasons that this article advocates a renewed push toward telecommuting for government and private employers. Unfortunately, notes the author, while many states have laws or state agency policies, there is usually little teeth and even less follow through.

Virginia is one state that is serious about cutting commuting whenever possible. Officials there are using legislation, executive orders and agency rules to boost the number of people working from home. They have set targets, established tax breaks for employers who implement telework programs and are considering budget cuts for agencies that fail to meet telework goals.

Telework advocates note that solving traffic congestion and fighting environmental concerns aren’t the only benefits to telecommuting. Increased productivity and employee retention, decreased absenteeism and real estate costs, and improved work opportunities for rural, elderly and disabled citizens all result from increased telecommuting.

Successful state telework programs in Arizona and Virginia are discussed, as is the need to judge employees by results, not by supervision.

Source: Joe Kolman, State Legislatures (Denver); March, 2008, v34 i3 p16

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