Higher gas prices, improved technology and more flexible work schedules are leading to a dramatic increase in telecommuting, according to WorldatWork.

Forty-two percent of 2,288 U.S. employers recently surveyed said they allowed staff to work remotely this year, up from 30 percent in a similar survey in 2007, the Washington D.C.-based human resources firm reported this week.

Respondents said telecommuting offers additional flexibility, among other benefits. The survey also found retention and hiring bonuses are becoming increasingly popular for attracting talent.

"Telecommuting lets employers attract a broader base of candidates by increasing the size of the talent pool, and it helps with employee retention because it offers companies the opportunity to retain workers interested in relocating," said Rose Stanley, the head of the firm's work-life balance practice.

Stanley said telecommuting also tends to grow as companies expand globally.