Telecommunications benefit businesses

The Bush administration, responding to pressure to clean up the environment, has launched a pilot program that will benefit employers who allow some of their personnel to work from home.

Under the program, companies in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Denver, Houston and Washington, D.C., can begin tracking auto-emissions reductions from telecom-muting to receive government credits.

Companies can then sell those credits to utilities or manufacturers of bank them for regulatory compliance for the region.

"Reducing the amount of time workers spend in traffic can help to improve our environment," said Christine Whitman, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Here are some tips for companies to get started on creating a telecommuting program:

Define the program. Write down the goals, scope, eligibility, budget and time line for the program.

Publicize the program. Let all your staff know about the program, who may apply and how to get involved.

Start small and gain experience. Begin with a limited number of employees. After three months, evaluate the program to determine its value.

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