The Governor of the State of Georgia, Nathan Deal, has declared the week of March 2-6 as “Telework Week.”
“Teleworking can have an immediate impact on reducing vehicle emissions, traffic congestion, strain on existing infrastructure, air pollution, and increasing commute mobility,” Governor Deal said. He added that just one person teleworking in the state would mean driving 2,000 miles and 50 fewer hours spent commuting.
The capital city of Georgia is notorious for its suburban sprawl, which could make teleworking appealing to its residents.
Georgia Commute Options is a project of the state’s Department of Transportation to encourage residents to consider telecommuting at least part of the time.
“We thank Governor Deal for his continued support of Georgia Telework Week, now in its sixth year,” Georgia DOT State Transportation Planning Administrator Cindy VanDyke said. “We know that many employers in the region with telework programs, including the Georgia DOT, have experienced increased employee productivity, and they certainly have made a difference in the region’s traffic congestion and air quality. We hope that employers will utilize this week to implement a telework program or investigate viable alternatives through the resources that Georgia Commute Options offers.”
Georgia Commute Options is encouraging residents to log telecommute hours on its website. It is also offering cash incentives to people who want to try other commuting alternatives to driving alone, including public transportation on carpooling, in addition to telecommuting.
Although telecommuting has been touted as a solution since the ‘90s, when the Internet began to come into wide use, the software and infrastructure wasn’t quite ready to support telecommuting on a wide scale. Web conferencing and broadband networks make telecommuting a viable option for many people these days.
The Atlanta area alone might benefit from more telecommuting. The area is already an economic engine in the South, home to many major companies, such as Coca-Cola, UPS and Delta Air Lines, among others. The city also already has a major media presence, home to CNN and TBS. Given the area’s already existing high-tech workforce, persuading them to avoid the long commutes in the region might be an easy sell.