The term “telecommuting” was coined by Jack Nilles in 1973. Telecommuting, remote work, or telework is a work arrangement where employees do not commute to a central place of employment – ultimately forcing mobile communication requirements across business operations. Usually, they work from home or other locations such as a café. This method of labor was made possible by modern advancements in telecommunications, such as the Internet, Wifi, Cellular Phones and IM.
The benefits of telecommuting have been excellent for employees, employers and the environment. Employees who work remotely enjoy greater work/life/balance and are better at managing family obligations – further, studies have shown that they have increased productivity and are happier overall. One Stanford and Beijing University study conducted using 242 employees of a large Chinese travel agency found that employees randomly assigned to work at home for 9 months had an increased output of 13.5%. The study also found that employees had a higher job satisfaction scores and quit rates fell nearly 50%.
According to a Reuter’s poll, “approximately one in five workers around the globe, particularly employees in the Middle East, Latin America and Asia, telecommute frequently and nearly 10 percent work from home everyday.” As of 2012, estimates suggest that over fifty million U.S. workers (about 40% of the working population) could work from home at least part of the time. In terms of the environment – telecommuting has saved millions of barrels of gas each year, as well as tons of emissions in our atmosphere.
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