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What are the trends in telecommuting growth?

It seems to be on a steady growth curve, with approximately 16.5 million telecommuters in the U.S. today according to the 2000 survey sponsored by the International Telework Association and Council. Telecommuting is also growing in many areas of Europe, Canada, and the Pacific Rim countries. We're not going to see the day when everyone works at home in blue jeans, but it's clear that the days of everyone going to the office five days a week are rapidly disappearing.

Keep in mind, however, that there are widely varying definitions of telecommuting and telework used when researchers come up with these population estimates - as well as widely different research methods used to do the sampling and estimating. No statistic on the number of teleworkers - no matter what the source - should be taken at face value, in my opinion. You should always dig into the numbers and the fine print to find out how the research was done and what the definitions and thresholds for inclusion are. Then, you can better understand, and perhaps adjust, the numbers accordingly.

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