Experts have been confounded by the fact that high fuel prices have yet to seriously damage the economy. There are probably many reasons, but one factor helping out is the rise of telecommuting. As commuting has become more expensive, the number of employers willing to let employees work from home has increased. Not only does this save gas, but companies that become adept at managing employees outside of the office get the added bonus of being able to recruit new hires from around the country, without begging them to relocate. Companies are even discovering, much to their surprise, that employees can be more productive working at home. Last year, Wired ran an article claiming that expensive gas is good for America because it spurs innovation into alternative energy. The increased interest among VCs in green technology definitely backs this up. But that's just one side of the coin; superior methods for recruiting and managing employees, originally induced by high energy costs, will stay with us even when gas goes back to $1.50. Over time, we'll benefit from the energy constraints we face today.
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