Local News

Telecommuting Allows Workers To Stay At Home, Away From Jammed Highways

Posted April 25, 2000

— Traffic tie-ups in the Triangle seem to be getting worse. Experts are looking for ways to relieve the gridlock -- through new construction, mass transit and even telecommuting, which allows people to work from home and stay off the highways.

What if your boss let you skip the jammed highways, and instead cruise the information superhighway and work from the comfort of your home? It sounds like a dream, but telecommuting is a way of life for a growing number of Triangle workers.

Dozens of local companies let employees do their jobs at home. They can put in a good day's work and never pull out of the driveway.

Jan Phillips is a human resources advisor forNortel Networks. The company is a leader in telecommuting with over 1,200 Triangle teleworkers.

"I think I'm living proof that this lifestyle works," Phillips says. "It takes adjusting to, but it can be done, and I'm a much happier person."

"I drive to RTP only when I need to be face to face with employees or management, and the rest of the time I stay here and do the work that I'm asked to do," Phillips says.

North Carolina Transportation SecretaryDavid McCoy says the state cannot just keep adding lanes to already-clogged commuter routes. He says the public and private sector needs to get creative to solve traffic troubles.

"The folks that are saying you can't build your way out of it are right," McCoy says. "The thing I've learned since I have been secretary is they can build a house or a subdivision a lot quicker than I can build a road, so we can't catch up. What we have to do is to be about solution strategies, looking for alternatives."

Secretary McCoy wants ten percent of his own workforce in Raleigh to telecommute by July 1.

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