Telecommuting could help with West Shore traffic congestion

Having some employees work from home could help with Colwood Crawl, Gazette reader writes

Editor’s note: A version of this letter was published in 2008

Re: Part 1, West Shore on the Go transportation series (goldstreamgazette.com, April 17)

For some time now, traffic volume and corresponding emissions have been in the news and a variety of solutions are on the table.

I’d like to suggest telecommuting be given more attention for reducing traffic volume. While not all jobs are suitable for telecommuting, many are. If employees worked from home even two days out of five, that would reduce their number of round trips by 40 per cent.

Telecommuting offers advantages to the employer, the employee, society and the environment. A little research will turn up extensive documentation on telecommuting as a viable solution to traffic problems.

Benefits that employers can realize from implementing telecommuting programs include increased productivity; greater employee retention, reducing recruitment and hiring costs; a wider recruitment pool; more effective use of space through sharing, resulting in lower property costs, and reductions in absenteeism and related costs and the need for parking.

While such solutions as smaller and/or more energy efficient vehicles, as well as additional transit options are good, reducing the number of cars on the road is fundamental to reducing traffic congestion and emissions.

We need to take a multi-faceted approach to this serious problem, and modern technology and lifestyles make telecommuting a feasible option. Victoria could lead the way and provide a working example of emission reduction in British Columbia.

Charlotte Gorley

Colwood