Outdoors Can Work

They're out there, with cell phones and laptops and golf clubs. Or they've packed picnics and project notes, briefcases and hiking boots. They're at any number of parks in Washington or its suburbs.

Yes, they're hard at work -- and they are not park police or rangers.

They're some of the 15.1 million Americans who head outdoors or to a park to work. Or at least that's what they told their bosses and that's what the pollsters estimated for the International Telework Association and Council.

From results of its recent poll, the council estimates that 20.6 million people have worked from their cars -- sunroof open, we hope. People who work from home find on average 3.4 locations from which to earn wages. Among them: 16.3 million work on vacation, 7.8 million on a train or plane, and 24.3 million from a client's place of business.

Robert Smith of the Telework Association says he's worked in parks, usually while one of his children was playing sports. And he sees students and professors outside collaborating on projects on campuses all the time.

Just remember to pick out the acorns and fallen leaves before you turn in your proposal.

-- Vickie Elmer