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White-collar employment which allows the worker to work in his or her own home, or in a neighbourhood work centre, communicating with an employer through a terminal which is connected with the employer's computer either directly or via the telecommunications network. Although much discussed as a revival of cottage industry, and as an illustration of labour-market flexibility, there were almost no true examples of this work arrangement in Europe by the early 1990s. Most people who used desktop computers at home still used conventional forms of communication, such as the postal service, or face-to-face meetings with employers and clients. However, there are cases of telecommuters working for a firm in another country or continent. Exaggerated claims of the incidence and growth of telecommuting are attributable to the rediscovery and revival of home-based employment in industrial societies, the vast majority of which does not involve computers or telecommunications networks. See also Internet.

Subjects: Sociology.

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