Sunday, April 23, 2006

Advanced technology allows workers to telecommute

More than a dozen employees of Kissimmee Utility Authority are working from home, most on a part-time basis, including employees in the utility's customer service and information technology departments. Advanced technology allows employees full access to the utility from home. Managers supervising the employees can use the same technology to monitor and guide these employees remotely.

"The work-from-home program allows KUA to respond more quickly to peaks in customer service requests," said Mike Geraghty, the utility's vice president of customer service and marketing. "When our customer phone traffic picks up, we can instantly route calls to employees at home, rather than waiting for them to drive to work."

There were almost 14 million Americans telecommuting at least part time in 2004, and an additional 7 million running businesses from home, according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Labor Department.

"This pilot project has other benefits as well, including moving people off the roads and back into their homes where they can ably carry out their responsibilities for our customers," said Jeffery Gray, vice president of information technology. "At the same time they are reducing traffic congestion and able to spend more time with their families."

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