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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.
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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.
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Working at home and communicating with the office by phone and computer. At the beginning of the 21st century, more than 30 million Americans were telecommuting at least one day a week. The technology field is well suited for telecommuting because many, if not all, of the tasks performed by many computer professionals are at a screen. Also called "teleworking" and "e-working."

Nothing has brought telecommuting more to the forefront than the COVID-19 crisis. It is estimated that 60 million Americans have jobs that could be performed full time at home. The pandemic has made countless companies examine how much money they could save by not having to maintain office space.

Certainly not everyone likes working at home, but many do, especially if a long and expensive commute is the alternative. There is also no need to dress appropriately, and the ongoing joke is that one only needs to wear a shirt to have a video session.

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. When back in the office, they 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.,
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References in periodicals archive ?
That's the rub, Bloom says: Working from home is not for everyone, and to tell if you're one of those everyone, do a quick systems check of your self-discipline.
"Working from home means I can always do bits and bobs - but the downside is it's difficult to switch off and relax.
But the drawbacks of working from home, according to the 1,000-strong sample group, were missing out on social interaction in the office (56%), being less in touch with company changes (22%) and slower computer access to the corporate network (18%).
Office of Personnel Management's Web site,, houses a wealth of information, including telework resources and laws pertaining to working from home.
It is not uncommon for business owners or top executives, especially those who work in dense urban areas, to spend time working from home or remote locations.
The session entitled "Working from Home" was led by Alison P.
Perhaps these factors about working from home are things you had not thought about.
These con jobs tend to require less in the way of up-front cash and, as the name indicates, lure people intrigued by the idea of working from home.
One important thing to bear in mind: If you are working from home while remaining an employee of a company, your employer still has certain obligations towards you, particularly in terms of health and safety and meeting the costs associated with teleworking.
UK ISP BT Openworld has conducted a survey looking at how broadband has affected workers that spend time working from home.
To learn more about the survey, including the demographics of home workers and reasons for working from home, call (202) 691-6378 or see an online summary at

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