With the number of telecommuters growing, Capitol Hill is finally paying attention. In October 1999, John Edwards, president of the International Telework Association and Council (ITAC), spoke before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, citing a new survey, sponsored by AT&T and ITAC, that found almost half the country's work force could do some tele-working.
According to the survey, 19.6 million teleworkers exist today-up from 8.1 million in 1995. Perhaps that's because telecommut-ing cuts down on traffic and pollution, helps businesses retain employees, and saves employers significant amounts of cash.
The survey found gains from increased productivity, a by-product of teleworking, rang in at $1,850 per employee per year, and reduced-absenteeism savings of $2,000 per year per teleworker.
Ellen Paris is a Washington, DC, writer and former Forbes
magazine staff writer.