tele·​com·​mute | \ ˈte-li-kə-ˌmyüt How to pronounce telecommute (audio) \
telecommuted; telecommuting; telecommutes

Definition of telecommute

intransitive verb

: to work at home by the use of an electronic linkup with a central office

Other Words from telecommute

telecommuter noun

Did you know?

Telecommute derives from the prefix tele-, a descendant of the Greek tele, meaning "far off," and the verb "commute," which arose from the Latin commutare, meaning "to change" or "to exchange." The practice of working at home and interfacing with the office via modem, telephone, or another telecommunications device has only recently become commonplace, but the word telecommute has been around since the mid-1970s. Its earliest documented use can be found in a January 1974 article in The Economist that predicted, "As there is no logical reason why the cost of telecommunication should vary with distance, quite a lot of people by the late 1980s will telecommute daily to their London offices while living on a Pacific island if they want to."

Examples of telecommute in a Sentence

The company now allows some of its employees to telecommute.
Recent Examples on the Web Many workers would like to continue to telecommute post-pandemic. Telis Demos, WSJ, 7 Feb. 2022 But the obstacles to realizing that vision were partly outlined in a report released Thursday, which showed city economists expect about a third of workers to telecommute long term, more than double the 15% projected in a previous five year plan. Chase Difeliciantonio, San Francisco Chronicle, 2 Apr. 2022 These jobs had the advantage of being portable, but the world to which the exiles could telecommute was becoming a mirage. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, 20 Mar. 2022 For now, city forecasters are estimating that by 2023, on average, office workers will permanently telecommute for 15% of the time. Romy Varghese,, 3 Mar. 2022 When shops and restaurants shuttered at the start of the pandemic, causing widespread layoffs elsewhere, most residents were able to telecommute. Washington Post, 28 May 2021 The rule does not apply to workers who telecommute or otherwise don’t work around other people, where there is no risk of workplace transmission, as well as workers who work entirely outdoors, where the transmission risk is dramatically lower. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 4 Nov. 2021 Workers are being urged to telecommute if possible. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 13 Sep. 2021 And although the pandemic pushed more women than men out of the labor force, gender gaps in job losses arose almost entirely among workers, and specifically parents, who were unable to telecommute. Stephanie H. Murray, The Atlantic, 20 Aug. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'telecommute.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of telecommute

1974, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of telecommute was in 1974

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Last Updated

27 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Telecommute.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on telecommute

Nglish: Translation of telecommute for Spanish Speakers


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