Telecommuting and the New Workplace - DOL Overview

The U.S. Department of Labor has issued a paper on the impact of telecommuting in the U.S. The paper, called "Telework and the New Workplace in the 21st Century," presents the work of scholars, economists, social scientists and others who were present at a symposium conducted by the DOL last October.

The paper outlines three issues of telecommuting. They include telework's potential to help employers address the skills-shortage, its potential to help workers meet family obligations, and its potential to help society achieve greater workplace diversity.

"Telework raises some serious, yet to be answered questions," says William M. Rodgers III, chief economist for the DOL in the introduction to the study. "How does one manage a remote work environment? How should employers evaluate the performance of a teleworker? What is the definition of overtime for the teleworker? Does this create further isolation for disabled workers? Are ageism and sexism issues in this discussion? Is telework here to stay, i.e., might telework bring about an historic restructuring of how Americans work?

Read the highlights of the symposium!

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