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

intransitive verb

: to work at home by the use of an electronic linkup with a central office
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 Extend the olive branch of flexibility through telecommuting options or flexible working hours. Naz Beheshti, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 The increase in women’s employment is tied to workplace changes like telecommuting that accelerated during the pandemic, although the trend predates COVID-19. Jacob Turcotte, The Christian Science Monitor, 10 Jan. 2024 Metro board weighs options for dealing with bleak financial picture The funding package, which made up for fare money that had shifted away from telecommuting office workers, lasted more than three years. Justin George, Washington Post, 24 Oct. 2023 Some call center workers were already telecommuting before the pandemic but their ranks have swelled. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, 25 July 2023 Metro is also trying to attract new passengers since the widespread adoption of telecommuting cut ridership by about half. Justin George, Washington Post, 23 Feb. 2023 Connecticut recently agreed to permanently allow most of its employees to telecommute as many as four days a week, in contrast with many state and local governments that are trying to set an example for private employers by pushing employees to return to offices in downtown cores. WSJ, 17 Mar. 2022 In an attempt to lure newcomers, Santa Fiora in Tuscany and Rieti in Lazio will pay up to 50% of the rent of anyone who decides to move and telecommute on a long-term basis. Silvia Marchetti, CNN, 9 May 2021 Many such accommodations, as described by the U.S. Department of Labor, align with the shifts that have occurred in the workplace in the past year as a result of Covid-19, such as the option to telecommute; flexible work hours; and permission to take breaks depending on individual need. Garen Staglin, Forbes, 20 Apr. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'telecommute.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1974, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of telecommute was in 1974


Dictionary Entries Near telecommute

Cite this Entry

“Telecommute.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


tele·​com·​mute ˈtel-i-kə-ˌmyüt How to pronounce telecommute (audio)
: to work at home using an electronic link (as the Internet) with a central office
telecommuter noun

More from Merriam-Webster on telecommute

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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