Tamica Wilder works at the Chartis Insurance Agency in Alpharetta. She used to leave for work at 6 a.m. and got home, after a 50-mile drive in rush-hour traffic, at about 7 p.m. Once, when there was a snow storm, she remembered it took her about four hours to get home.
Today she still works for the Chartis Insurance Agency but now it's mostly from home. Since last April she's been telecommuting to work four days a week and she said her family life has improved because of it.
Wilder's husband used to have to take the their two young children, Kirah, 5, and Kaidyn, 3, to school everyday and then pick them up too. His work was closer to the house.
"Some days I would only get to spend a couple of hours with them because I would get home so late," she said.
Today, she said, it's a better life for everyone. These days Kirah even goes to soccer practice and mom can participate too.
"I can help out with the kids in the morning, getting them dressed and getting them breakfast."
Then, by 7 a.m., Wilder signs into her computer for work. At lunch, she signs out and she takes two 15-minute breaks everyday. Chartis Insurance provides her with the computer.
"Everything's exactly the same as being at work," she said.
With gas prices on the rise again, the Wilder's save a considerable amount of money each month as well. She said she used to go through a full tank of gas in three days. Now a full tank can last a whole week.
"I know one thing," she said, "I pay more attention to things that benefit the environment too, like not being on the road and my emissions. It makes me conscience to take care of the environment. Now I'm more cognisant of that, how I'm helping the environment."
"I wish more businesses would allow their employees to telecommute," she said.
The Georgia Department of Transportation has found that the number of telecommuters has been on the rise in recent years. On behalf of GDOT, the Metro Atlanta Regional Commuter Survey found that more than one in four people in the Douglasville area (27%) teleworks at least occasionally. That's an increase of 35 percent since 2007.
Telecommuters who work at home at least three times a week, now make up seven percent of all commuters, a number up 75 percent since 2007. Five percent of people in the region (1 in 20) teleworks five or more days a week. That's an increase of 130 percent since 2007.
According to data from the survey, teleworking is part of an overall increase in the number of people who are choosing to carpool, vanpool, take transit, ride a bike, walk or telework. About 18 percent of all commuters, which is more than 400,000 people, now chose an option other than driving alone to work.
According to the Clean Air Campaign, their programs keep 700 tons of pollution out of the air and reduce 1.4 million miles of vehicle traffic.