This article from New Geography looks at one of the most over-looked but growing trends in professional work, that can—as it is already doing—dramatically cut energy consumption.
“The rapid spike in energy prices has led politicians, urban theorists and pundits to pontificate about how Americans will be living and working in new ways. A favorite story line is that Americans will start trading in their suburban homes, move back to the city centers and opt to change everything they have wanted for a half-century --- from big backyards to quiet streets to privacy --- to live a more carbon-lite urban lifestyle.
“Yet, there has been little talk about what could be the best way for families and individuals to cut energy use: telecommuting. For more than a decade, the number of telecommuters, both full-time and part-time, has been growing rapidly, gaining more market share than any other form of transportation.
“This seems certain to continue with the proliferation of broad-band technology -- as well as the effect of high gas prices. By 2006, the expansion of home-based work doubled twice as quickly as in the previous decade, and now is close to nine million, according to the National Highway Travel Survey of the Federal Highway Assn.
“Nationwide, according to the Gartner Group, in 2007 13 million workers telecommuted at least one day a week, a 16 percent leap from 2004. That number was expected to reach 14 million this year. In addition, more than 22 million individuals, according to Forrester Research, now run businesses from home.”