Last week, we blogged about the increasing importance that telecommuting plays in the decision-making process of job selection for top IT talent. We know telecommuting is becoming a requirement for many IT job seekers here in Atlanta. This is evident based not only on our experience working with IT job seekers, but in an article featured this past week in  the Atlanta Business Chronicle titled “Office optional: Atlanta tops in 15-city telework survey.”

According to Microsoft Corp.’s “Work Without Walls Report: U.S. Telework Trends 2011,” a report based on a survey of more than 4,500 information workers in 15 key cities regarding worker preferences, company support and enabling technologies for teleworking – Metro Atlanta ranks No. 1. The survey found that 60 percent of information workers surveyed in the greater Atlanta area responded that their company has a formal policy allowing employees to work remotely.  On average, workers stated they prefer to work remotely 10 days a month, but they actually telecommute just five days a month. The major reasons cited for telecommuting were “eliminating commute time and greater productivity.”

It’s interesting to note that Georgia was one of the first states to offer tax breaks for businesses that implement telework initiatives – one reason why Atlanta leads the way in telecommuting. In addition, Atlanta’s Clean Air Act and Clean Air Campaign encourage teleworking as a way to reduce fuel emissions.

A recent study conducted by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) also ranks Atlanta first in broadband use and the second most wired city in the country. According to this report, 27 percent of Atlanta-area commuters now telework at least occasionally, a 35 percent increase in just three years. Frequent telecommuting has risen 75 percent during the same period, with 7 percent of all commuters now teleworking at least three days a week.

Employers in the metro area provide specific benefits for having a telework policy in place including:

  • Employees have a higher level of job satisfaction and are more productive.
  • Telecommuters who work from home the majority of time have higher retention rates than those who work from the office.
  • Reduction in fuel consumption, energy use and overall environmental footprint.
  • Overall savings in operational costs such as phone, equipment, IT and support infrastructure.

We’re not surprised the Atlanta region is tops in support of teleworking because we know this is a job MUST-HAVE for many of the top IT professionals we work with. But if you're not located in Atlanta, here are the other top telework cities:

  1. Atlanta
  2. Dallas
  3. Phoenix
  4. Seattle
  5. Denver
  6. Boston
  7. Washington, D.C.
  8. San Francisco
  9. Houston
  10. Minneapolis
  11. New York
  12. Philadelphia
  13. Los Angeles
  14. Detroit
  15. Chicago

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