Tell a Commuter
Once touted as a solution to traffic congestion problems in the U.S., telecommuting has largely been a no-show. A decade ago, the federal government predicted that as much as 10.4 percent of the population would be telecommuting several days a week by 2000. But telecommuting hasn’t even topped 1 percent in some of the country’s most congested areas. For example, take heavily trafficked King County, Wash., where only 0.6 percent of workers telecommute more than two days a week. Even Liz Rankin, former head of Seattle’s efforts to reduce commuter congestion and now the city’s transportation communications chief, found telecommuting unworkable in her current job. Many workers and supervisors say telecommuting has proven difficult because it rules out spontaneous face-to-face meetings and other forms of daily contact with colleagues.