We celebrate Telecommuter Appreciation Week in the week of March 3. This year, it takes place from March 4 to 10. This week is to commend the work of those who deliver quality output without ever stepping into their company’s office. Telecommuters are those employees who work from home (or anywhere their heart desires) and usually use email and videoconferencing as ways of delivering their work. Unlike most employees who physically have to step into offices and work at desks, telecommuters don’t have to fulfill this requirement. Telecommuters work remotely and send their work into the office without necessarily even living in the city or country in which their company is based.
History of Telecommuter Appreciation Week
Telecommuting has gained popularity over the years and thanks to the boom of technology and the internet, it allows employees to access workspaces from remote locations very easily. However, this was not always the case. Telecommuting was initially pushed as an initiative to facilitate the workings of government agencies.
Jack Nilles first coined the term ‘telecommuting’ in 1972. At the time, Nilles was working remotely on a complicated communication system for NASA. Unable to find an existing word to describe his job, he told people that he was telecommuting. This led to the birth of the term.
In 1979, author Frank Schiff invented the term ‘flexplace’ and introduced it through a popularly-read article in “The Washington Post” titled ‘Working From Home Can Save Gasoline.’ This article made people aware of the option of working remotely. Eventually, this led to the first conference on the topic of telecommuting taking place in 1980.
In 1992, an Interagency Telecommuting Pilot Project was started to establish awareness about the utility of external telecenters for government agencies in Washington D.C. Subsequently, in 1994, September 20 was established as Employee Telecommuting Day by the Interagency Telecommuting Pilot Project.
1996 saw the creation of the National Telecommuting Initiative, which was created to increase the popularity of telecommuting, especially inside government bodies. Many government agencies and federal bodies pushed this initiative. In the long term, this led to Microsoft launching its Smooth Streaming technology in 2008, which created easy options for remote working. Other tech-based companies across the country followed suit and came up with blended online models of workspace access and company setup.
Telecommuter Appreciation Week timeline
Jack Nilles coins the term while working remotely on a complex NASA communication system.
Author Frank Schiff talks about remote work in his article in “The Washington Post” titled ‘Working From Home Can Save Gasoline’ which leads to the first conference on the topic of telecommuting.
This project is established to popularize the use of external telecenters for government agencies in Washington D.C.
Microsoft’s technology helps facilitate smooth telecommuting for remote workers.
Telecommuter Appreciation Week FAQs
Is telecommuting the same as working from home?
Yes. These terms are synonymous and interchangeable. Remote working and teleworking are other terms for the same thing.
What is an example of telecommuting?
A great example of telecommuting is a writer who doesn’t go into an office every day, but works for a company and sends work in from home, a coffee shop, a library, or a co-working space.
Can an agency force an employee to telecommute?
No. The employer and the telecommuters jointly decide on the terms of the arrangement.
Telecommuter Appreciation Week Activities
Send a gift card
It takes nothing to say a small thank you. Let a telecommuter know that you appreciate their work this week.
Try out the role
Telecommuting can be fun if you get the hang of it. If you’re looking for something new professionally, why not try being a telecommuter?
Talk to a telecommuter
Another good way to celebrate this week is to get in touch with a telecommuter you know or would like to get to know. Talk to them about their challenges and get a sense of what a typical day looks like for them.
5 Interesting Facts About Telecommuters
Less money is wasted by telecommuters
Research has shown that unscheduled absences are reduced by up to 63% per year if staff members work remotely.
Telecommuters save huge amounts of time
Telecommuters save huge amounts of time each day because they don’t need to physically go to the office.
Telecommuters tend to be more productive
According to American Express, their telecommuters help produce 43% more revenue than their office workers.
It’s a preferred way of working
Around 53% of telecommuters prefer working from home instead of going to the office.
It reduces the need for office space
Employers get to save on their office space and supplies if many of their employees are telecommuters.
Why We Love Telecommuter Appreciation Week
Telecommuting is not easy
Although telecommuters don’t step into the office, remote working is not an easy feat. They have to constantly juggle between personal chores and professional engagements.
Telecommuting can be a viable career choice
This is a viable career option for anyone who is looking to do something new. If you don’t want to leave the house and think you’ll deliver better results from the safety of your home, then this type of work could be for you.
It’s an opportunity to spread positivity
A telecommuter is as important to the company as an ordinary employee who does their work in the office. This day is to help telecommuters feel included and tell them that their work matters.
Telecommuter Appreciation Week dates