Two interesting articles have come to my attention, both pointing to the growing importance of telecommuting. The first, on-line from National Public Radio, analyzes the locational distribution of homes suffering from the sub-prime housing crisis. Titled: Home Prices Drop Most in Areas with Long Commute, the article notes that much of the drop in real estate prices comes from those who face large bills for fuel. Specifically:
Economists say home prices are nowhere near hitting bottom. But even in regions that have taken a beating, some neighborhoods remain practically unscathed. And a pattern is emerging as to which neighborhoods those are.
The ones with short commutes are faring better than places with long drives into the city. Some analysts see a pause in what has long been inexorable â€” urban sprawl.
The second article, also on-line but a blog from Tech Republic, discusses the four main trends observed at Interop (a large high tech trade show) by Executive Editor Jason Hiner. Trend 3 of the 4 is Supporting a decentralized workforce. Here’s a key quote:
At Interop, one vendor told me that 70% of all employees now work outside of the corporate headquarters. Another vendor told me that number is actually up to 80%. One representative of a very large IT company said that it recently moved into a new headquarters and that the employee-to-workstation ratio is now 4-to-1 (up from 1.5-to-1). Thatâ€™s because they now have a lot more mobile employees and they actively encourage employees to work from home during times they donâ€™t need to come into the office.
Admittedly, the attendees at Interop come from the infotech-intensive part of the economy but it is clear that the growth of acceptance of telecommuting continues. What can we infer from these two articles?