Business Administration Education Guide

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Study's conclusions could push telecommuting

December 04, 2006 (Network World) -- Despite the growing popularity of telecommuting, regular commuting continues to grow, with a new class of worker -- the extreme commuter -- traveling more than 90 minutes to get to work. Commuters who take public trains and buses wind up taking twice as long to get to work as people who drive, the study found.

In 1980, the average travel time nationwide was 21.7 minutes. That grew to 22.4 minutes in 1990 and shot up to 25.5 in 2000. These averages were driven up by the large number of commuters in New York, where more than 10% of commuters travel for an hour or more to work.

Other states in which more than 10% of commuters travel an hour or more to work are New Jersey, Maryland and Illinois. California just missed this percentage.

Meanwhile, the ranks of telecommuters have risen dramatically since 1990, according to the Telework Coalition. In 1990, about 4 million people telecommuted at least once per year. That number has grown to about 45 million today, says Chuck Wilsker, president and CEO of the Telework Coalition.

According to the same study, the number of teleworkers supported by broadband connections leaped from 4.4 million in 2003 to 8.1 million in 2004.

The growing travel times for physical commuting may encourage more businesses to offer telecommuting options if workers consider time traveling to work as wasted. A survey of 1,400 chief financial officers said offering telecommuting as an option is the second-best way to attract top job talent. The best way is offering more money.

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