Telecommuting Urged During Obama Inauguration

Telework Exchange says the practice will allow D.C. employers to test continuity while avoiding congestion.
A group that promotes telecommuting is urging employees in the nation's capital to work from home during the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama.

Telework Exchange said Tuesday that up to 4 million people are expected in the Washington, D.C., area for events leading up to the Jan. 20 inauguration, a situation that's likely to create gridlock and congestion on public transit systems.

Telecommuting, or telework, can help businesses maintain continuity of operations during the events, which present an opportunity to test infrastructure and continuity plans, the group said.

"A perfect storm is driving telework in every major industry and across government," the group said in a statement, adding that the practice cuts down on pollution, increases productivity, encourages employee retention, and promotes a work-life balance.

The group added that the next U.S. president supports the benefits created by telework.

"It's time to show that organizations are supporting work-life balance, a clean environment, and are committed to reducing our dependency on oil," Cindy Auten, general manager of Telework Exchange, said in a statement.

Telework Exchange promotes cooperation between public and private groups to promote telework. The group supports an online community to help organizations and employees start the practice. The Telework Exchange Web site provides telework calculators, which tally the cost and environmental benefits of telework policies, the personal cost of commuting in dollars, and the social cost in terms of tons of pollutants.

The Web site also offers an eligibility tool, which helps employees determine whether they're in a position to work from home.