Telecommuting refers to work that is done remotely via virtual connection to the workplace.  With the growth of internet speeds and the increasing ubiquity of broadband connections, the numbers of people engaged in some form of telecommuting has grown by 103% over the past ten years.[1] According to data published by Global Workplace Analytics, between 20% and 25%
of the global workforce currently engages in some form of telecommuting and telework and data-based projections for future figures as high as 40%.

Advantages to telecommuting are many.  For workers, telecommuting is perceived as a benefit that adds flexibility, improves work/life balance, and  reduces the expense of transportation.  Businesses realize advantages from increased employee performance, satisfaction, and production while cutting costs through decreased needs for office space and better retention.  Overall savings from telecommuting is estimated at $7 billion a year “if those with compatible jobs and a desire to work from home did so just half the time.” [2]

Some concerns about telework persist.  Among these, employer distrust remains an issue in some companies, especially for lower level employees.  Other negatives include security consideration, an issue that increases in secure platforms such as VPN servers are already addressing.

As telework and fully remote positions continue to increase, they offer the potential for employment to those currently without work or unable to commute physically. These opportunities can only be taken for those with reliable high internet and the skills to use it independently.  To participate in the expanding world of telework, broadband access and digital skills are essential. ______________________________

[1] Data from Global Workplace Analytics.  Accessed 20 November 2016.

[2] “Latest Telecommuting Statistics,” Global Workplace Analytics.  Accessed 20 November 2016.