Telecommuting

Definition

The term telecommuting refers to an arrangement that allows an employee to work from an alternate office location.  Telecommuters are permitted to work from multiple locations, typically alternating between a centralized office location as well as a remote location.

Explanation

Telecommuting has grown in popularity as companies flex their policies to accommodate an ever changing pool of qualified workers.  The term telecommuting is not limited to work-at-home arrangements.  In a typical scenario, telecommuters are permitted to work from an alternate location one or more times each workweek.  This can include the employee's home in addition to one of the employer's work locations.

Offering this benefit to an employee can help lower their commuting costs and reduce the amount of time spent traveling to a work location.  These policies can also help improve morale, increase employee engagement, and lower turnover.

Companies will also provide teleworkers with the equipment and technology they need to work from a remote location.  For example, if the employee is permitted to work from home, they may be issued devices and services such as computer equipment, access to the company's network (virtual private networks), printers, cellular phones and telephone lines.  This allows the employee to access the information they need to perform their work duties as well as communicate effectively with coworkers, clients, and customers.

Related Terms

benefits, flexplace, flextime, mandatory employee benefitsphased retirement, prescription drug plan, shift work