Telecommuting as an alternative work style appears stalled in Utah, according to a new survey by AT&T.

Only 15 percent of Salt Lake businesses currently allow employees to telecommute, and just 20 percent say they have a telecommuting policy in place.AT&T surveyed 200 Salt Lake businesses and state agencies to gauge attitudes toward telecommuting. It released the results Wednesday as part of Utah Telecommuting Day.

Gov. Mike Leavitt designated the day to encourage employers to try telecommuting as an alternative work style. The state is promoting telecommuting as a way to reduce air pollution and avoid traffic congestion during renovation of I-15.

"Our department encourages everyone to reduce vehicle use through telecommuting and other programs," said Dianne R. Niel-son, director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality.

Though few companies currently embrace telecommuting, the AT&T survey found that about 40 percent of those surveyed expect to use the work style in the future.

"The I-15 crisis has promoted a lot of people to consider telecommuting," said Russ Glover, AT&T public relations manager. "Before that I don't think it was much of an issue here."

The AT&T survey found that Utah employers who use telecommuting say it improves employee morale, reduces office space costs and is an incentive for retaining valuable employees.

Nationally, telecommuting is gaining popularity. According to a 1995 study by Telecommute America, 64 percent of Fortune 1000 companies use telecommuting programs in their companies.

AT&T's survey found that many employers want more information about telecommuting - and help is on the way.

AT&T is providing a grant to The International Telework Association to establish a chapter in Salt Lake City. The nonprofit organization provides education and information about telecommuting and telework.