With the rise of technology in recent years, telecommuting, or working from home through the use of technology, has become more and more popular. Employers are exploring different office solutions, with telecommuting and remote work being favorable choices. And it’s easy to see why, with a ConnectSolutions survey showing that 30% of workers said that they could accomplish more in less time when telecommuting. But telecommuting is not new and this article is going to delve into the history of this work solution concept.
Working from home has been a popular concept for centuries — many farmers and artisans worked right from their own property. There were even people, particularly in the 17th and 18th centuries, that worked as contractors, receiving materials from clients to make into specifically-requested items. This method of work lasted for a long time before offices and factories became popular.
In more recent times, telecommuting became more well-known, especially after Jack Nilles coined the term “telecommuting” in 1972. This was brought about during the time that workers were spending too much time in vehicles going to and from work, especially with rising fuel costs. So more people started to find ways to work from home or in different office solutions.
In the 90s, telecommuting really took off for a few different reasons. One of the main reasons more employees began to work remotely was because of “Employee Telecommuting Day”. This day was part of a government pilot program to make better use of external telecenters. During this time, employers were also being encouraged to reduce the commute time for employees, which prompted them to allow staff to work in a virtual office.
By 2010, the Telework Enhancement Act was passed, which aimed to make telecommuting more effective for federal employees. Since the early 2000s, more employers have begun to allow their staff to utilize unique office solutions, like telecommuting and working remotely.
So contrary to popular belief, telecommuting is not a new concept. Although today’s technology and access to different office solutions does make working remotely easier, more convenient, and more effective for employees in a wide variety of industries.