Essay by 208327College, UndergraduateA+, March 1997

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As defined in Webster's New World Dictionary, Third Edition, telecommuting is 'an electronic mode of doing work outside the office that traditionally has been done in the office, as by computer terminal in the employee's home.' Basically, it is working at home utilizing current technology, such as computers, modems, and fax machines. Traditionally, people have commuted by cars, buses, trains, and subways, to work and back. Through the innovation of telecommuting, , the actual necessity to change location in order to accomplish this task has been challenged on the basis of concerns for energy conservation, loss of productivity, and other issues.

One advantage of telecommuting is energy conservation. A tremendous amount of energy is required to produce transportation equipment such as automobiles, buses trains, and subways. If telecommuting is promoted, there will be less use of this equipment and less energy will be required for production, maintenance, and repair of this equipment.

Fuel resources needed to operate this equipment will be reduced. The building and repair of highways and maintenance requires a large consumption of energy, not only in the operation of the highway construction and repair equipment, but also in the manufacture and transportation of the required materials. An increase in the percentage of people telecommuting to work will decrease the need for expanded highways and associated road maintenance. The first two areas related to getting to work. Once a person arrives at a central office working location, he or she represents another energy consumer, often times magnified many times over what would be required at home. The office building has heating, cooling, and lighting needs, and the materials to build it and maintain it require energy in their production and transportation. Working from home requires only modest incremental demands on energy for heating, cooling, and lighting needs, and...