About JALA!

Telework and telecommuting


Telework: ANY form of substitution of information technologies (telecommunications and computers) for work-related travel.

Telecommuting: that portion of teleworking that applies to the daily commute to and from work-a primary source of traffic congestion, air pollution and loss of productivity in urban areas.


Jack Nilles, co-founder and President of JALA, coined the terms telecommuting and teleworking in 1973 during the first documented pilot telecommuting project (with a major national insurance company). Nilles organized and led an interdisciplinary team at the University of Southern California to develop and test telecommuting in a real-world environment. The book resulting from the project—The Telecommunications-Transportation Tradeoff: Options for Tomorrow—explored all of the main issues associated with telework and telecommuting. Published in 1976, it is now in demand as a collector's item, has been reprinted and is now available from online booksellers. His book, Making Telecommuting Happen: A Guide for Telemanagers and Telecommuters, is often called "the bible of telecommuting."  Its updated and expanded sequel, Managing Telework, has been praised internationally as the best book available on telework program development and management.

JALA's primary interests are in the development of programs that involve telework as a central change agent for satisfying major strategic goals. JALA's telework services and expertise cover all aspects of telework and telecommuting, from project design; participant selection and training; project evaluation and impact assessment; and policy formulation. The company has developed a variety of special tools and documentation aids to address any telework situation or opportunity.

We have been the key consultants for the telecommuting projects of several Fortune 100 firms and for most of the major public sector telecommuting projects in the US: the States of Arizona, California and Washington; and the City of Los Angeles. These projects have involved thousands of telecommuters. The State of California Telecommuting Project, for which JALA was the sole consultant, received the 1991 Innovations Award from the Council of State Governments. In May, 1993, JALA received the prestigious Environmental Pride Award for Innovation from Los Angeles Magazine in recognition of JALA's major contributions to improving the air quality of Southern California. Also, in 1995, we received a national environmental achievement award from RENEW AMERICA for our telecommuting development activities

We developed the marketing program for the California Telecenters Project, focused on a series of neighborhood telework centers outside major metropolitan areas. We are one of the partners in the Southern California Emergency Telecommuting Partnership, a public-private coalition for aiding southern California's recovery from the January 1994 earthquake and were part of the evaluation team for the Partnership.

We are also developing projects for using telework as an economic development tool in disadvantaged urban and rural areas, and for increasing small business competitiveness. In this regard, JALA also has been a major contributor to the development of the European Community Telework Forum, an organization sponsored by the European Union to inform its member countries of the opportunities and impacts of teleworking. JALA is the only non-European member of the ECTF's management board. JALA is helping develop telecommuting projects in Lisbon, Madrid, Vienna, and Argentina and is performing telework impact studies in southern Europe. We also have an on-going project to forecast the global impacts of telework.

Last, but far from least, we are supporting our affiliates, Mieres y Gorchs Asociados, in their efforts to introduce and develop telework in Latin America.

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Last modified: Monday January 14, 2013.

JALA International
Los Angeles, CA 90049