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Homework Your first assignment: Let employees telecommute.

By Ellen Paris

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

With the number of telecommuters growing, Capitol Hill isfinally paying attention. In October 1999, John Edwards, presidentof the International Telework Association and Council (ITAC), spokebefore the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, citing anew survey, sponsored by AT&T and ITAC, that found almost halfthe country's work force could do some tele-working.

According to the survey, 19.6 million teleworkers exist today-upfrom 8.1 million in 1995. Perhaps that's because telecommut-ingcuts down on traffic and pollution, helps businesses retainemployees, and saves employers significant amounts of cash.

The survey found gains from increased productivity, a by-productof teleworking, rang in at $1,850 per employee per year, andreduced-absenteeism savings of $2,000 per year per teleworker.

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