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Reduced Stress
Bad for Your Heart

Researchers found in a four-year study that having to deal with traffic increases a person's chances of having a heart attack within an hour after being in the situation. Some experts say that the pollutants associated with vehicles could increase stress levels, which might contribute to heart problems [source: Mozes].

The problems with a physical commute, such as getting stuck in traffic, can be a huge stress for people [source: Mozes, Spilner]. But telecommuting can have stress-lowering implications for employees [source: Gajendran and Harrison]. "For many people, the hardest part of their work day is getting to and from the office," Gordon said. "To the extent that they can commute fewer days in the week, that is just that much less stress in their lives." According to a study sponsored by Hewlett Packard in the United Kingdom, participants' heart rates and blood pressure levels rose to levels higher than those of experienced fighter pilots going into combat during their daily commutes [source: Hewlett Packard].

Telecommuting can also offer employees a sense of greater control over their work lives than in an office environment. Employees still have deadlines and goals that need to be met, but telecommuters might not be as micromanaged as those in the office. "They feel more in control," Rhodes said. "For employees these days it is very important that they feel that they are in control of when and where their work gets done, that they have autonomy."

From reducing stress to helping the environment, the benefits of telecommuting have increasingly become open to more workers. Telecommuting might not be a good fit for everyone, but technology and employer support have started to change the way that work can be done. "In this knowledge-based economy, what is important is getting the job done, not when, where or how many hours it took," Rhodes said.

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