MomTalk.com January 19, 2021:   The women's magazine for moms about children, family, health, home, fashion, careers, marriage & more

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Communication Tools for Telecommuters

By Elizabeth Wasserman

When Nicole Belson Goluboff's first child was born 14 years ago, the Manhattan attorney asked the prestigious law firm she worked for if she could telecommute. The law firm declined. Back then, there was no Internet, no email, long-distance phone calls were expensive and you needed a conference room to meet with colleagues.

Goluboff eventually left a job she loved to spend more time with her family. These days, however, technology enables her to work from home in Scarsdale, N.Y. as an author and advocate on the legal implications of telecommuting. "I've got Internet access, a fax machine and phone," Goluboff says, "and I am highly dependent -- as are most professionals -- on email."

A growing array of communication-based tools available over high-speed Internet services is being credited with a recent boom in the number of Americans who telecommute, or "telework," as it's also called. Between 2004 and 2006, the number of workers whose employer let them work from home at least one day a month jumped by 63 percent to 12.4 million, according to WorldatWork, an association of human resource professionals from Fortune 500 and other leading organizations worldwide. Combined with the growing ranks of the self-employed, that means roughly 20 percent of the American workforce -- or 29 million workers -- now work remotely at least once per month.

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