There appears to be an answer in sight to the high costs associated with commuting to and from work: more and more companies are considering telecommuting as a viable option.
It's one thing to surf the net and find obscure articles about telework and its pros and cons, but to see an article in your newspaper naming major companies who are adopting the trend is really a good sign.
I actually know two TELUS employees who work from home - they're Customer Service Reps for Mobility. When you call in with a question about your TELUS cell phone, there's a good chance you'll get one of the company's work at home staff, who can access your account and offer you assistance on a TELUS computer in their home office.
This is all very regulated, of course, and is offered only to employees with some tenure and a good track record. Calls are monitored and stats are kept electronically, which are used to measure employee performance.
The company computer must be in a separate work space free from distractions, and children must of course be with a babysitter (so it's not like running a home based business - the employee reports for work and logs in at the start of the scheduled shift, and takes calls as though working in the company building). TELUS has supplied all the necessary hardware, phone and network connections, which are entirely separate from the employee's personal equipment.
My two friends with this job say that it's worth the hoops they jump through to abide by company monitoring, and it's worth using some of their home square footage for company equipment, because the money and the time they save by not commuting is significant.
Hopefully other companies who have not tried this option will see its success in action and introduce similar programs as well. Here's hoping!!