Impact Of Telecommuting On Workers, Employers, And Society

1904 words - 8 pages

Impact of Telecommuting on Workers, Employers, and SocietyEddie HillUniversity of PhoenixDr. Baji DanielsOctober 18, 2003AbstractTelecommuting is a growing trend, not only in the United States, but also around the world. This trend towards telecommuting is affecting workers, employees, society, and technological needs and products. As popularity expands, people are becoming increasingly aware of the pros and cons associated with this style of work. Legal concerns regarding telecommuting are coming to the forefront of the employment sector's attention, as more and more organizations and employees consider the option of the telecommuting. As the number of telecommuter is likely to continue to increase over the coming years, it is important to understand its impact on the various aspects of our lives.Impact of Telecommuting on Workers, Employers, and SocietyJack Nilles is credited with coining the terms "telecommuting" and "teleworking", in 1973, during the first documented pilot- telecommuting- project with a major national insurance company (JALA). The terms "telework" and "telecommuting" are often used interchangeably to mean any official work that is being conducted away from an employee's official duty station and at some alternate work site, regardless of whether that location is a home office or some other form of a telework center. Many prefer the word "telework", as it appears to be a more accurate description of the concept. The "tele" prefix means "distance," so the "telework" combination would refer to "work at a distance." The "telework" advocates also believe that the term "telecommuting" has too strong a connotation about the commuting aspect, and that "telework" is a broader and more inclusive terms (Gordon, 2002). Nevertheless, the more common term "telecommuting" will refer to work completed outside of a traditional office environment.One distinction important to note would be that telecommuting relates the utilization of technological resources. Many people, erroneously, believe that all telecommuting requires the use of complex technology and equipment; this is not necessarily the case. At times, work may be completed with a telephone, a word- processor, even something as basic as a notepad and pen.It is important to understand the scope of telecommuting in terms of how many workers are engaging in these types of activities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor, has released a report on their website indicating that in May of 2001, some 19.8 million persons usually did work at home as part of their primary job (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2001). This figure is supported by a report of almost 19.6 million people working at home, according to the International Telework Association and Council (Goodling, 2001). Although the numbers vary, depending upon the source of the research, it is clear that many Americans are currently engaging in some form of telecommuting, although the type and amount of work...

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