Chances are considerably less than before. With inflation spiking and wages stagnant, employers and employees alike have less real cash to spend, and the dollars they do have are falling on the world market. Rising prices for commodities, food and energy put a real crimp on company profits and the discretionary income of workers.
As we have seen before, just commuting back and forth to work every day can become a huge burden for some employees – to the extent that they consider resigning to look for a job closer to home. In the past, we have seen sympathetic companies deploy a number of strategies to help workers facing steep increases in the cost of gasoline. Some have chosen to temporarily increase wages, mostly for key personnel or those with extraordinary circumstances, until oil prices begin to fall. Other companies have allowed one or more days per week of telecommuting, again on a temporary basis. Of course, there is always the usual emphasis on car pooling and public transport.
I would encourage all companies to examine various options to help lessen the increasing financial burden to employees; it should be an integral part of a comprehensive employee acquisition and retention strategy. Furthermore, to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil and the transfer of our wealth to oil-producing nations, companies should adopt policies where part-time and full-time telecommuting is not an exception, but a rule, for those workers in appropriate positions.
This is good for employees, good for business and good for our country.
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