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The New Telecommuters: Where are you going?

As the buzz around skyrocketing fuel prices and travel costs continues, it’s no secret that business people continue to turn to telecommuting as a viable alternative to offset costs and carbon emissions. As profiled this week, companies like Chorus are allowing their entire workforce to work remotely, sparing employees from the hassle of costly commuting. And after saving over $400,000 a year, who could blame them? As Chorus demonstrates, more companies are realizing that remote training and knowledge transfer can be achieved using collaboration tools. Not a bad option when gas prices are almost hitting $5 a gallon in some U.S. cities. But businesses aren’t the only ones hopping on board the trend, as reported on by the Associated Press this week. We are seeing that lately, a new generation of telecommuters has begun to take shape, as travel costs have fueled a substantial boom in the number of students who are now telecommuting to class. According to the AP, a growing number of students are feeling the pinch of high fuel costs on their budgets, and are enrolling in online classes in record numbers. Work and school aside, where else can we leverage telecommuting to reduce the need for costly travel? As noted by this week, waiting until 2010 when the market recovers is a long time away -so where else can the technology take us when we need to offset our carbon emissions and find ways to cut travel costs? Well, it may not be all that useful to telecommute to your summer vacation in Bali, but it will be interesting to see what other destinations -other than school and work -that we can put on the map. Colin Smith, Dir., Public Relations, WebEx

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