Telecommuting on the rise say top corporate execs

The number of telecommuting employees is on the rise, according to a recent survey of top executives by an independent research team and leading staffing service OfficeTeam.

Telecommuting is currently popular among companies, with more than two-thirds (69%) of executives saying it is common for their companies’ employees to work remotely. Of those polled, 82% of managers said they expect the number of telecommuting employees to increase in the next five years.

The survey, based on telephone interviews of 150 senior executives from some of the largest U.S. companies, examined the current state and outlook of telecommuting in America.

“Rising fuel prices are causing people to look for alternatives to lengthy commutes, and working from home or at locations closer to home are attractive options,” said Dave Willmer, executive director of OfficeTeam. “Technology has also made it easier for employees to work remotely when traveling for business.”

In related news, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Telework Improvements Act of 2008, that would require the head of each federal agency to establish a policy allowing “eligible” employees to telework a portion of the workweek.

If passed, federal agencies would be required to allow authorized employees to telework at least 20% of the hours worked in every two administrative workweeks. Under the bill, federal employees would be authorized to telecommute the maximum amount of hours possible without diminishing employee performance or agency operations.

The bill points out some positions will not be eligible for the telework option due to the nature of the work including situations where employees must be at the job-site to perform their work of if the job requires face-to-face time with the public.

The proposed legislation now moves on to the Senate. We will continue watching the status of this bill and will share information as it becomes known.

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