Telecommuting A Substitute For High Gas Prices

from the lemon-into-lemonade dept

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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Comments on “Telecommuting A Substitute For High Gas Prices”

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Anwar says:


Telecommuting is the most amazing concept ever and finally, as companies weigh the cost of Big Brother vs the Big Commute, we will finally have some companies letting go and allowing their people to work from home. Imagine the productivity increases and the benefits to the economy and the environment. With broadband, video conferencing and Skype we can do pretty much everything we did in an office (including flirt with the office eye-candy) with the biggest commute we do being the trip to the bathroom. Thank god for those high gas prices!

Evol (user link) says:

Re: Support for Finally!

Here is one company whose inovative solution seems to be right on target. They have developed an innovative IP multi-media communications platform and applications to meet the growing communications needs of today’s small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs). This solution allow SMEs to take advantage of today’s broadband, Web and VoIP technologies to improve business efficiencies, enhance employee productivity and reduce communications costs. The link explains this solution.

Rizzn (user link) says:


I really am fed up with these naysayers that are predicting the end of civilization as we know it because gas has gone up a buck or two. We live in a market driven economy. Something else will rise to meed the demand, either alternative means of transportation, ways around the transportation itself, or alternative energies.

Those who believe otherwise have no sense of history.

Actually, this year I have telecommuted for more companies (and hired more telecommuters) than ever before. We are truly growing into the monikor ‘information age.’

Anonymous Coward says:

Venezuela, Nigeria, Iran, and the OPEC. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is going to hold the OPEC summit later this year, in which he will propose to set the minumum price of a barrel to 50. If he manages to do that, US gas prices will never fall below 2.50. Keep pissing off Iran and Telecommuting and carpooling will become a reality for most americans. The truth is we have been spoiled beyond recognition. So expect higher prices!

Other Brian says:

Telecommuting Rocks

I’ve been a full time telecommuter for about a year now and it is fantastic. I save 1-2 hours of drive time every day that am more than happy to spend at my desk. The benefits of working here go beyond just time saved to the more escoteric ‘quality of life’.

From my perspective there are several valid reasons why more companies aren’t doing more of this.

1) Lazy workers? You really need to trust someone will do their job even absent physical supervision (tech can help here, you just need methods & metrics to verify the job’s getting done).

2) Techno-phobia, until your average user is more self sufficient the costs of having internal IT support remote workers may be prohibitive.

3) Implementation, organizing and providing the necessary resources to remote employees.

Gas prices are going and and they should, simple supply & demand – we will (eventually) find another way to motor around town and high prices are nothing more than a catalyst to that end. Telecommuting is a vast untapped method to conserve all energy at many levels, which is beneficial irregardless.

Warhol says:

Re: Telecommuting Rocks

I too, telecommute. I love it. I start work at 7am (two hours earlier than when I work in the office) and sit there, typing and readsing, unshaven, in my dressing gown until about 10am when I spend about half an hour on the crapper.

I work through until one, having already done 5.5 hours work, then take two hours for lunch to allow my thoughts about the morning’s work to permeate and have some effect and to walk the dog (not a euphemism). At 3pm I start again and work through until 6. I get over 8 hours work done, no commute, and I’m working before my colleagues arrive in the office and until after most of them leave. And I get to see my pre-school daughter every day and spend some quality time with her.

I’m totally connected to the office – VPN, mobile, IM, email – and employer, employee and clients are happy. My wife also works from home so I can check she doesn’t bone the window cleaner.

My employer (perhaps one of the biggest online media publishers in the world) is totally flexible with this policy – if you need/want to work from home, you can; just get the job done and over-perform if possible. The result is a motivated, happy workforce with a great work/life balance and very low employee churn.

Telecommuting rawks.

tk. says:

Come on...

The price of gas will drop, once W. is out of office, and the Democrats take control of Congress (which they will because W. screwed everything up for the Republicans).

He has to make sure he’ll be able to live comfortably once his dumbass is out of office.

Those that can’t see that, are blind.

I hope Kerry doesn’t run for president in ’08 – else the price of ketchup will be on the rise as well… :'(

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Come on...

True that in part Dubya has a lot to do with it, but what the US has done can’t be mended by just getting rid of the ignorant bastard. OPEC countries are pissed, and that will be reflected in the rise of oil. After all they control almost 90% of the oil that comes into this country. At the drop of a dime they can make it hard for every SUV loving redneck in this country to pull their hair out, and curse Big Oil.

telecommuter says:

gas back to $1.50

There is actually a way gas can realistically go back to $1.50 a gal. The more telecommuterss that eventually become the norm, demand on gas will actually drop back to the level of supply needed and then companies are forced to lower the rates. Telecommuting actually doesn do a LOT for our reduction in abuse of gas.

telecommuter says:

gas back to $1.50

There is actually a way gas can realistically go back to $1.50 a gal. The more telecommuterss that eventually become the norm, demand on gas will actually drop back to the level of supply needed and then companies are forced to lower the rates. Telecommuting actually doesn do a LOT for our reduction in abuse of gas.

Robyn says:


I’m supposed to research two companies that allow telecommuting and the virtual office. I’ve found plenty of articles about telecommuting, but nothing specific to a company. Another article mentioned that the staff of Techdirt telecommutes, so I went here to find out more. But there’s nothing about them telecommuting in the “About Techdirt” category. Where can I find info about specific companies using telecommuting and the virtual office?

The Professor says:

Gas is not best

I’m getting so fed up with all that childlike whining out there. You fool’s are adults, although you don’t act like mature people, you are! It’s quite difficult to understand the human psyche that promotes helplessness and those most damaging fattalistic attributes too. I am a scientist not a philosopher, my life is centered on scientific discoveries. As far as my political views go, not much to add to them. Naturally, because we all live in a capitalist society, were corporate America with the help of those rich and famous parasites rule our very lives. As a scientist, I can only examine an element for its atomic weight. I can by no means create this same element under controlled conditions in a lab. Therefore, as logic dictates we will continue to sacrifice our food resources for the sole purpose of providing those alcohol based fuels, for that invention of inventions “the automobile.” In retrospect, everything related to fuel in one way or another, is going to skyrocket beyond the reach of many of those hard-working poor American individuals, many facing financial ruin as I speak.

In conclusion, I see a turbulent future where those precious fuel prices are closer to six dollars per gallon. In addition, I won’t even mention how much the truckers will be paying to fuel-up those highly inefficient diesel rigs. Perhaps you think of me as unkind, or just another rocket scientist with no moral values. Nothing could be further from the truth, for I do care deeply for my brother’s pain. Therefore, the only thing they can save us all now from going bankrupt in relation to all those high fuel prices. Is that by some divine miracle, we were to run out of oil right now today. When that dinosaur blood is history, we will see an unprecedented flood of new technologies, the kind of technologies that could’ve ended our dependence on oil many decades earlier. Force the governments hand by threatening to cut off its main source of income, and you won’t believe how fast the Senate passes a new energy agenda, to usher in the age of perpetual power for all the people.

Sincerely my dear friends, the Professor

Paul West says:

The next generation in the internal combustion

All right, enough is enough, you’re all whining like a bunch of small children over these criminally orchestrated gas prices. I said it a few months ago that gas prices would rise to four dollars a gallon before my 53rd birthday. In addition, according to my calculations it’s just .20 cents away from being four dollars a gallon. Diesel fuel is already way over four dollars a gallon, and the angry truckers are bitching a blue streak too. As a self claiming poor scientist, I too feel the pain at the pump. However perhaps these high fuel prices are a godsend telling us all that it’s now the right time to change to something better. There is no need to dramatically change anything on that nice big luxury car or that wonderful gas guzzling SUV either The internal combustion according to my own calculations is not going anywhere anytime soon. That’s right it’s here to stay for many more years to come. We simply need to do a little reverse engineering, while gas prices remain so astronomically high. The overall key for solving that high price fuel dilemma requires no rocket science at all; we simply apply a little logic to the equation.


Ruud Padt (user link) says:

Telecomuting or TeleBeing

In my opinion telecommuting is possible for professionals but it has to involve every employer AND Yes it can involve every Desk-worker !!!!
This means Team-Building, Training on the job, Trust and unofficial gossip to match ideas….all during Telecommuting
We can give this trough Full-time HQ Video and Audio for every team
Check it out

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