Telecommuting a Growing Trend

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Telecommuting is a growing trend in the information age. Much has been published touting the benefits of the “virtual office.” About 6 percent of the American work force (over 8 million American workers) telecommutes to company jobs from their homes on either a part-time or full-time basis, and the number is increasing. By some estimates, a full 30 percent of the work force will be telecommuting by the year 2020. Telecommuting is defined as work and transportation alternatives that substitute home-to-work commuting with the option of working at home or at satellite work locations for all or part of the employee’s assignment. This does not include work at home due to temporary special conditions such as inclement weather, recovery from illness, caring for an ill family member, or caring for a newborn or newly adopted child.

Commuting, in general, has become a major concern for many, especially in heavily populated areas such as the suburbs. Businesses alike are constantly in search of productive means to acquire the most for their dollar. And with technology constantly increasing, the means for counter production have raised the bar for a profitable business experience.

Below is a list of key commuting issues that raised awareness to the telecommuting era:

  • The key issue in many cases is whether an employee is engaged in travel as part of the employer’s principal activity or for the convenience of the employer.
  • If so, then that employee’s driving or commuting time is probably compensatable.
  • The time employees spend commuting to and from their regular place of work each day is not work time, so employers do not have to pay employees for this time.
  • Again, normal travel from home to work is not work time. This is true whether the employee works at a fixed location or at different jobsites.
  • The commuting time includes any time spent walking from the parking lot to the worksite.

Local businesses should act upon themselves to be as proficient as possible. If all of corporate industry enacted upon such a method of savings, numerous changes to both the national economy and ecology would be greatly affected. Emissions would reduce along with the unemployment rate, due to the lack of transportation and increase corporate budget. Methods of telecommuting are endless to the common good, and should be taken by all seriousness. Businesses have incorporated policies, guidelines, and agreement contracts to enact a credulous virtual working experience. On a much larger scale, government legislation has been reviewed in countless aspects, but the success of such has yet to play a role in a national environment. The risk of incorporating the technology, resources, enforcement, and policies is too high in an already existing budget deficit.

In a recent measure to incorporate telework in the state of Maryland, the following proclamation was agreed upon by the majority. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that it would cost the government $30 million over the next five years to implement new telework rules. Republicans seized on that figure to block approval on the grounds that no new money was set aside to pay for it.

Most cities have yet to pass any legislation to incorporate telecommuting technology due to the risk associated with it. The financial burden of adding to the deficit by any means, especially high cost implementations, is political suicide. With the articles that I have read in regards to legislative action and telecommuting practices, it is quite clear that it would most definitely be a productive means of business. The issue is the high risk on a low budget. Eventually, the implementation would save in the long run, but burying the states budget even further into the ground would not help the current situation. I would purpose that the process be broken down into multiple phases. You would lay the initial infrastructure (transmission media), calculate multiple methods of telework, calculate security procedures, train and sign into contract the policies associated with virtual conduct, incorporate telework, and reap the benefits.

In the long run, I see telecommuting influencing both the transportation side of economical growth, as well as the ecology of the many cities due to the lack of emission. Although one would argue the financial aspects of environmental concern, you can still put a price on the relationship.
Common sense tells me that telecommuting is a guaranteed path on a road to a revolutionary change in business performance. Although it may not be a risk taker for the already producing budget deficit, it is by far a new era of corporate ventures that will surely excel to say the least.

Resources

http://hr.uoregon.edu/policy/telecommuting.html

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2010-05-06/news/bs-md-sarbanes-telework-20100506_1_telework-telecommuting-rules-for-federal-employees

http://compensation.blr.com/Compensation-news/Compensation/Employee-Travel-Time/Key-Commuting-Issue-That-Applies-to-Wage-and-Hour/

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