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Telecommuting grows in Bend

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High Five
Thursday, September 16, 2010

A culture of telecommuters is growing in Bend, with more workers choosing the area for its renowned outdoor recreation and culture.

However contrary to the image of working at home in pajamas, many telecommuters are choosing to share office space with other telecommuters, such as at Tech Space Bend.

An estimated 27.5 percent of Americans were involved in some form of telework during 2009, according to the technology marketing firm Gartner Dataquest. The number of full-time teleworkers in the country is far less significant, with the Telework Research Network’s survey results showing that less than three percent of Americans are working remotely. That number, however, is growing (by nearly a percentage point between 2008 and 2009), and one of the reasons behind the boom is the ongoing recession.

Some companies are allowing workers flexible work schedules and teleworking options in lieu of pay raises – the idea being that while they can’t bump up a long-time employee’s wages, the company can, however, help with his or her quality of life by eliminating the drive to work and/or lessening child care costs, says Kathy King, a former Oregon Department of Energy employee who was instrumental in creating and implementing teleworking strategies throughout the early 1990s. King, who now consults for Commute Options on telecommuting, also says there’s an incentive for employers because businesses can save money on office space and utilities by allowing employees to work from home.

Read more at The Source Weekly.

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