Definition

telecommuting

Contributor(s): Susan Mary Smith

Telecommuting and telework are synonyms for the use of telecommunication to work outside the traditional office or workplace, usually at home (SOHO) or in a mobile situation. According to one study, telecommuting has been growing at 15% a year since 1990 in North America. 80% of Fortune 1000 companies are likely to introduce it within the next two to three years. Although work at the company premises is not likely to disappear, new forms of telecommunication such as voice and picture communication and groupware are likely to make telecommuting more social in the future.

Factors that will continue to affect the future of telecommuting include the availability of bandwidth and fast Internet connections in a given country; social methodologies for balancing work control and work freedom; the perceived values and economies in telecommuting; and the opportunities and need for working collaboratively across large distances, including globally.

With the arrival of the Internet and the Web as a kind of "standard" for groupware, one can join a virtual organization to access resources developed for members who work almost entirely through telecommunication with an occasional face-to-face meeting.

This was last updated in May 2007

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