Friday, March 6, 2009

Telecommuter Appreciation Week

The American Telecommuting Association (ATA) has declared this week, March 1 - March 7, 2009, “Telecommuter Appreciation Week,” honoring Alexander Graham Bell, whose birthday is March 3.

Clean Air NY is celebrating “Telecommuter Appreciation Week” by saluting all the telecommuters in the New York metro area. Since their only commute is from room to room, they are improving New York’s air quality by reducing vehicle miles traveled.

The ATA listed the three main benefits of telecommuting. Clean Air NY especially appreciates #3:

1. The individual and family benefit from saved time, lower commuting expenses, reduced stress, more scheduling flexibility, greater satisfaction regarding work and the pleasure in spending more time together.
2. The employer benefits from greater productivity, loyalty and job satisfaction, a stronger focus on job performance, better recruiting and longer retention of the most productive employees and reduced overhead and facility expenses.
3. Society as a whole benefits from reduced traffic congestion, minimized air pollution, lower requirements for (and strain on) transportation infrastructure and decreased demand for scarce and nonrenewable resources, such as fossil fuels.

CA, Inc. of Islandia, NY, one of the world's largest IT management software providers based in New York, recently implemented its “Flexible Workplace Program.” Long Island Transportation Management Inc. (LITM) assisted CA in establishing this program, which enables qualified employees to forego commuting to work and allows them to work from home. Clean Air NY recognized CA’s telecommuting initiative and honored it as a 2008 Clean Air NY Champion. CA's Joe Archila, vice president of human resources programs, said, “We feel strongly about offering our employees air quality-friendly and healthy commute options. It not only helps to improve our air quality, but it also helps our company attract and retain top talent while enhancing productivity.”

Andrea Vera, operations manager of CommuterLink offered this advice: “Telecommuting is not suitable to every job, person or situation. The decision has to be mutually agreed upon between the employer and employee, the job has to be conducive to working remotely and the home office must have the appropriate equipment (computer, phone, fax, printer, copier, etc.)” Check out the telecommute section of CommuterLink’s Web site for more telecommuting tips.

Another suggestion? A company could allow telecommuting specifically on air quality action days, when ground-level ozone levels are at their highest. On those days, it is crucial to drive less to avoid worsening the already poor air quality. To find out more about air quality action days and to receive updates when they occur, please visit

If you would like to use the momentum of Telecommute Appreciation Week to establish a telecommute program at your company or would like to propose this idea to your human resources department, please reference MetroPool’s telecommute resources.

For more information on telecommuting in:

· Long Island, contact LITM.
· Lower Hudson Valley, contact MetroPool.
· New York City, contact CommuterLink.

Happy Telecommuter Appreciation Week!

Jessica Horne is Marketing and Outreach Associate of Clean Air NY.

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