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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
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 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
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 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.
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 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, e-mail 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 ?
This Premium work from home service only posts outsourced, home-based positions, manually selected and double screened for quality assurance.
Managers and professionals are most likely to work from home, according to the Office of National statistics, but for too many employers there is still a trust gap that stops this flexibility from being offered to those lower down the occupational hierarchy.
Given that this discussion on work from home is in the context of IT industries that is dominated by multinational companies, this local focus seems to be a reflection of the global discourse.
com/telework-statistics-and-research-roundup) reported that the number of people who work from home will increase by 21 percent by the time 2016 arrives.
Mathew Conn, GM Customer Service, said the work from home program also had a very positive impact on customer service delivery, led to increased staff satisfaction and reduced absenteeism.
The pressures of the rat race mean that many people want to work from home permanently or occasionally.
Anderson says that while the opportunity to work from home is growing, getting your boss to consent may take effort.
1 million people now work from home across the UK and around eight million spend at least some of their working week in the house instead of the office, according to the Office for National Statistics.
In case you missed it, Work From Home Week 2004 finished just seven days ago and was accompanied by a flurry of reports on how Working From Home is Good For You.
How teleworking will be part of the firm in the future: We don't expect to work from home as often in the future.
The survey polled 111 individuals who regularly work from home and have recently started using a high-speed Internet service.
Over 30 percent indicated that allowing agents to work from home has been a successful experience.