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Research conducted by two Old Dominion University faculty members and the Social Science Research Center is the subject of a news story today on ABC.Com.

The research on telecommuting by Donald D. Davis, associate professor of psychology, and Karen Polonko, professor of sociology, for AT&T and the International Telework Association and Council (ITAC), indicates that the number of employees who telework in the United States increased by about 16.5% to 28.8 million -- approximately one worker in every five -- in the past year.

An overwhelming majority of these teleworkers, or telecommuters, are more satisfied with their jobs, feel more productive and are especially loyal to their employers, according to the research.

The survey, conducted between July 30 and Sept. 10, consisted of 1,170 telephone interviews representing a national, randomized sample, geographically representative of U.S. households. Old Dominion's Social Science Research Center conducted all interviews.

The survey explores both the business and human factors of current telework practices and provides insights for businesses and other organizations looking to meet the need for new or expanded telework programs for their employees.

The 28.8 million telecommuters worked either at home (21.7%), on the road (24.1%), in telework centers (7.5 %), in satellite offices (4.2%) or a combination of these (42.4%).

"Telework has evolved beyond the pioneering telecommuters of the 80s," said Chuck Wilsker, Executive Director of ITAC. "It has now entered the mainstream of best practices for today's workforce."

The typical teleworker works at least one full day per week away from the traditional office environment, lives in the northeast or western regions of the U.S, has a college education, is 35 to 44 years of age and married.

Teleworking is most often found at either a very small or very large company. Teleworkers most often hold managerial or sales positions and earn $40,000 or more annually. Teleworking is most commonly practiced within real estate, management of enterprises, and the information industries.

More than two-thirds of teleworkers express greater job satisfaction. Nearly 80% feel a greater commitment to their organization and most say they plan to stay with their employer. Notably, almost three-quarters of at-home teleworkers reported a major increase in productivity and work quality.

Almost twice as many teleworkers as non-teleworkers report that they work before and after normal work hours or on weekends. But they also are more likely to say that working at home interferes less with other activities in their personal life. Equally as interesting, not just teleworkers but their families also report less conflict and enhanced quality of life than non-teleworkers.

To obtain a copy of the report's executive summary or a complete survey report, please call ITAC at 202-547-6157, or send an e-mail request to info@telecommute.org. For more information about ITAC, please visit their Web site at www.telecommute.org.

The International Telework Association and Council (ITAC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the economic, social, and environmental benefits of telework.

View the story at http://more.abcnews.go.com/sections/business/dailynews/strike_teleworking_011026.html.

This article was posted on: October 25, 2001

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