What is Telecommuting?
Telecommuting or telework is a work arrangement in which employees enjoy flexibility in working location and hours. In other words, the daily commute to a central place of work is replaced by telecommunication links. Many work from home, while others, occasionally also referred to as nomad workers or web commuters utilize mobile telecommunications technology to work from coffee shops or other locations. Telework is a broader term, referring to substituting telecommunications for any form of work-related travel, thereby eliminating the distance restrictions of telecommuting. A person who telecommutes is known as a "telecommuter". A frequently repeated motto is that "work is something you do, not something you travel to". (From Wikipedia)
A successful telecommuting program requires a management style which is based on results and not on close scrutiny of individual employees. This is referred to as management by objectives as opposed to management by observation. The terms telecommuting and telework were coined by Jack Nilles in 1973. (From Wikipedia)
- If all Federal employees who are eligible to telework full time were to do so, the Federal Government could realize $13.9 billion savings in commuting costs annually and eliminate 21.5 billion pounds of pollutants from the environment each year.
- For communities, telecommuting can offer fuller employment (by increasing the employ-ability of proximal or circumstantially marginalized groups, such as Work at home parents and caregivers, the disabled, retirees, and people living in remote areas), reduces traffic congestion and traffic accidents, relieves the strain on transportation infrastructures, reduces greenhouse gases, saves fuel, reduces energy use, improves disaster preparedness, and reduces terrorism targets.
- Telework centers are offices that are generally set up close to a majority of people who might otherwise drive or take public transit. They usually feature the full complement of office equipment and a high-speed Internet connection for maximum productivity. Some feature support staff such as receptionists. For example, a number of telework centers have been set up around the Washington Metropolitan Area: 7 in Maryland, 8 in Virginia, 3 in Washington, D.C. and 1 in West Virginia.
- On December 9, 2010 President Obama signed H.R. 1722, the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010, into law
- The Clinger–Cohen Act (CCA), formerly the Information Technology Management Reform Act of 1996 (ITMRA), is a 1996 United States federal law, designed to improve the way the federal government acquires, uses and disposes information technology (IT). CCA was the first significant government guidance to encourage agencies and organization to begin Telework.
During the last ten years before I retirement, teleworking was an option for many of the projects I was working – on a part time basis. There was still a need for me to be in the office – meetings, working on projects that required my presence and the like – but I was still able to work away from my office.
In the Washington DC Metro area, some progress is being made for telecommuting/
Telework – yet nowhere near the projected 25-40% and the daily rush hours reflect that.
Links to review for more information: