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June 2012, Vol. 135, No. 6
The hard truth about telecommuting
Mary C. Noonan and Jennifer L. Glass
Mary C. Noonan is an Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology, The University of Iowa; Jennifer L. Glass is the Barbara Bush Regents Professor of Liberal Arts at the Department of Sociology and Population Research Center, University of Texas at Austin. Email: mary-noonan-1@ uiowa.edu or jennifer-glass@ austin.utexas.edu.
Telecommuting, defined here as work tasks regularly performed at home, has achieved enough traction in the American workplace to merit intensive scrutiny, with 24 percent of employed Americans reporting in recent surveys that they work at least some hours at home each week.1 The definitions of telecommuting are quite diverse. In this article, we define telecommuters as employees who work regularly, but not exclusively, at home. In our definition, at-home work activities do not need to be technologically mediated nor do telecommuters need a formal arrangement with their employer to work at home.
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1 See American Time Use Survey—2010 Results, USDL-11-0919 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, June 22, 2011).
Current Population Survey
Bringing work home: implications for BLS productivity measures.—Dec. 2010.
Wage differentials associated with working at home.—Mar. 2007.
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