Most US companies now offer workers the option to work from home, satellite offices and other locations, according to a survey conducted by Yoh Services, a provider of talent and outsourcing services.

The survey also found that most US-based Human Resources (HR) managers expect the use of telecommuting to increase over the next two years.

"We learned that companies need to build a product that says, 'if you come and work for us here's what you're going to have: a casual work environment, a flexible schedule' - whatever that may be," said Jim Lanzalotto, vice president of strategy and marketing for Yoh.

"Companies are realizing that in order to attract the best people to come work for their companies they need to create an environment that's conducive to do that."

Yoh surveyed 198 HR managers at the Society for Human Resource Management 2006 Conference and Exposition in June about their company's telecommuting policies. The results of the survey were just released this week.

According to the survey, 81 per cent of hiring managers now have policies that allow employees to work remotely. In addition, 67 per cent of hiring managers believe the number of employees who work remotely will grow by 2008.

"It's not difficult to infer what is driving this trend," Lanzalotto said in a statement. "People and organizations have long wanted the business flexibility telecommuting offers. But it's only in recent years that the technologies that enable cost-effective telecommunications have reached critical mass - such as wireless broadband, PDAs and smart phones and standard-issue PCs capable of remote enterprise access.