Rosabeth Moss Kanter to President Obama: Push Telecommuting

President Obama has a complex, multifaceted agenda that encompasses everything from climate change to increasing American competitiveness.

And now Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Moss Kannter has a one-stop solution that will help him advance many of his goals: Make it economically feasible and corporately acceptable for people to work at home one day a week. She says:

"That single step could raise productivity, save energy, decrease pollution, reduce traffic congestion, cut household expenses, increase quality of family life, and keep educated women in the work force."
What is the role of government in making this happen? Government leaders must encourage businesses to actively support the idea of working remotely, and also develop incentives for high-speed technology infrastructure to be extended from office to home.
"To reinvent the work place, we need public officials to put the infrastructure and permission in place, companies to start the change process, and people to learn how to work together with new norms."
As someone who commutes almost three hours a day to and from Boston, I can see how even just a one-day-a-week, work-from-home situation would reduce car maintenance and repair expenses significantly, and probably increase productivity in some types of my work. Would my work-life balance be better? You'll have to ask my wife if she wants me underfoot 20 percent more during the work week.

What about you? Is a government-encouraged telecommuting policy a good idea? Does your current work environment discourage working remotely?

Read Kanter's full blog post Stay Home and Work on Harvard Business Publishing, then come back to give us your take.