Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial, Wikipedia.


an arrangement by which people work at home using a computer and telephone, accessing work-related materials at a business office, or transmitting materials to an office, by means of a Internet connection; it is also known as telework. Telecommuting hours can range from the occasional morning or afternoon to nearly full-time work. Although the term "telecommuting" was coined in the early 1970s, the practice only became popular in the 1990s as personal computerspersonal computer
(PC), small but powerful computer primarily used in an office or home without the need to be connected to a larger computer. PCs evolved after the development of the microprocessor made possible the hobby-computer movement of the late 1970s, when some computers
..... Click the link for more information.
 became more affordable and the InternetInternet, the,
international computer network linking together thousands of individual networks at military and government agencies, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, industrial and financial corporations of all sizes, and commercial enterprises (called gateways
..... Click the link for more information.
 became more accessible. Initially conducted using a modemmodem
[modulator/demodulator], an external device or internal electronic circuitry used to transmit and receive digital data over a communications line normally used for analog signals.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and telephone lines, telecommuting was made more feasible by cable and fiber-optic Internet connections. The development of lightweight portable computers and, later, smart phones also increased the ease of telecommuting. Government agencies and environmental groups have encouraged telecommuting because it reduces pollution, saves gasoline, and creates a less congested commuting environment. Companies have used telecommuting as a way of keeping valued employees who might otherwise be lost due to relocation or commuting stress. Although some people feel they can be more productive when working at home, others prefer an office environment.


The practice of working at home and communicating with your fellow workers through the phone, typically with a computer and modem. Telecommuting saves the employee getting to and from work and saves the employer from supplying support services such as heating and cleaning, but it can also deprive the worker of social contact and support.


Working at home and communicating with the office by phone, email and video conferencing. At the beginning of the 21st century, more than 30 million Americans were telecommuting at least one day a week. Also called "teleworking" and "e-working."

Telecommuting Goes Way Back
In the 1960s, information technology was one of the first industries to let employees telecommute. A small number of programmers worked at home one or more days a week; however, the only link to the office was the telephone. There were no modems attached to desktop computers because there were no desktop computers. A few programmers may have had the luxury of a terminal connected to a mainframe or minicomputer, but the majority wrote source code using pencil and paper. They later created the input by "punching cards" and testing the program at a local datacenter. See virtual company, telecity, ROWE and hoteling.

A Lot Has Changed
Today, telecommuters can emulate "being there" with devices such as the Double from Double Robotics. See telepresence. (Image courtesy of Double Robotics, Inc.,
References in periodicals archive ?
The United States Congress has been actively involved in promoting telecommuting throughout the government.
Department of Transportation shows that telecommuting is becoming more feasible for employers and employees.
Midwest Institute for Telecommuting Education (MITE), www.
Telecommuting offers a number of benefits that fall into three categories: individual or worker, organizational, and society.
The uncertainties involve businesses and employees alike--businesses need to know how telecommuting affects their state tax filing requirements, and employees need to know whether they have to file individual income tax returns in multiple states and whether they are subject to "double taxation" when states differ in how they source wage income.
Of course, telecommuting is not appropriate for every position or for every staff member--some people need the office environment to do their jobs or to remain focused on their tasks.
As broadband connections increase market share and the price of computers and laptops continues to fall, telecommuting will become a viable option for an increasing number of companies and workers.
Another challenge: In the past, managers have been skeptical about telecommuting, mostly because their old-school management techniques were contradictory to self-paced productivity.
Telecommuting is not an instant solution to on-site performance problems.
Rapid advances in technology have converged with the increasingly frenetic pace of American life to make telecommuting an increasingly common work arrangement.
1363 or the Telecommuting Act of 2017 a measure, while protecting the rights and privilege of home-based workers, also encourages companies to adopt a "work from home programme" for certain employees, whose nature of employment allows them not to be confined at the office.