Monday, May 08, 2006

Higher gas prices equals more telecommuters

Every time Laurie Shannon makes the 160-mile round- trip drive between her home in Belchertown, Mass., and her office in suburban Boston, she uses five gallons of gas and shells out $5.10 in tolls. With prices at the pump skyrocketing, she has devised a partial solution: fewer commutes.
"If there's nothing that requires face-to-face meetings, and if I have everything I need with me, I can work at home three days a week," says Ms. Shannon, a research psychologist at WFD Consulting in Newton, Mass. With a laugh she adds, "My dogs like it, too."

Shannon is in the vanguard of a quietly growing band of Americans turning to telecommuting to reduce gas costs. As they work at home, typically a day or two a week, they are spurring a shift that could eventually turn the United States into what workplace analyst John Challenger calls a "telecommuter nation."

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