Most companies now offer workers the option to work from home, satellite offices and other locations, according to a survey of 198 HR managers, conducted by Philadelphia-based Yoh Services, a provider of outsourcing services.

According to the survey, 81 percent of hiring managers now have policies that allow employees to work remotely. In addition, 67 percent 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,” said Jim Lanzalotto, VP of strategy and marketing for Yoh. “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.

“Likewise, telecommuting itself is reaching critical mass,” Lanzalotto said. ”And that’s why hiring managers and HR professionals need to make sure these policies are attractive if that want to attract high-impact talent.”