Slackers no longer

More evidence that contradicts the telecommuter-as-slacker meme … At Florida’s Kissimmee Utility Authority:

The utility’s customer service workers who have take up telecommuting have proven more productive at home, handling more calls than they did when working in the office, said Jef Gray, Kissimmee’s vice president of information technology. … Sun [Microsystems] says more than 15,000, or about half its employees, participate in its program that allows them to work from home. On average, the employees save two hours a week in commute time and they are a third more productive, according to Sun Microsystems.

Article here. In related news:

A growing number of Americans have given up traditional jobs for more flexible work, including 20 million who telecommute and 10 million independent contractors, a business group said on Thursday. Using statistics from several sources, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said a more entrepreneurial work force was emerging as Americans leveraged the nation’s strong job market to shift the balance between their jobs and personal lives. “A growing number of Americans are seeking work arrangements that offer greater income potential, more flexibility in work schedules and a better balance between career and family,” said Thomas Donohue, president of the chamber. The report showed one in six U.S. employees work from home at least once a week. Seventy percent of those telecommuters work for others, while 30 percent are self-employed, the chamber said, citing data from the Economic Policy Foundation.

Article here. Chamber of Commerce report here. Related: The Telecommuting Trend