Did you know? The term “telecommuting” actually dates back to the 1970’s!

Like many other modern inventions we take for granted, the concept of telecommuting has been with us long before high-speed internet became widely available.

Without telecommuting, virtual assistant services would remain out of reach for most businesses. Fortunately, the boom in telecommuting has made business outsourcing solutions accessible to even small businesses.

To gain some perspective on how far we’ve come, today we’ll be taking a dive back through the history of telecommuting. We’ll discuss the beginnings, the boom and where we are today.

Are you ready? Let’s get started!

While the tools have changed, telecommuting and virtual staffing have been with us for longer than you might think!

People have worked from home long before the computer was invented

Before offices and factories became the norm, most people worked in their place of residence. Ancient farmers grew crops on their own land, while craftspeople and blacksmiths worked out of their own homes.

So technically, working from home has been with us since the dawn of civilisation!

Working from home as we think of it today however is a more recent development.

Like we mentioned above, our modern understanding of telecommuting goes back to the 70’s – more specifically, to the oil crisis of 1973.

Like the name suggests, the oil crisis put driving out of reach for many workers. So, some of NASA’s employees had to get creative. Engineers such as Jack Nilles got around sky-high prices at the pump by organising the world’s first modern telecommuting setup.

Of course, his definition of teleworking was different from ours! For starters, instead of working from home, his team envisioned setting up and working from smaller regional offices, using phones to keep in touch with the main office.


Technology catches up (slowly)

Nilles had made a start. However, it would take a couple of years for the idea of telecommuting to really take off.

Fax machines started popping up in offices (and homes) in the 1980’s. This made telecommuting significantly easier – most office work back then was still done on paper, after all.

Telecommuting slowly picked up steam as computers made their way into workplaces. By the  90’s, the internet was publicly available.

With it came email, instant messaging software and the power to remotely access files. The first live stream occured in 1993, closely followed by the first teleconference.

Needless to say, all of this made working from home significantly easier!


How the telecommuting revolution has given rise to virtual assistant services

The rest of it, as they say, is history.

Internet got faster, computers more powerful and cloud storage hit the market. All of these make teleworking easier than ever, with 1-in-3 Aussies regularly working from home.

It’s also made business outsourcing available to even small businesses.

Thanks to the ease with which remote working can be achieved nowadays, business outsourcing is now within reach of small and medium businesses too. Even small businesses can have fully virtual staff – employees that never set foot in the office and for all intents and purposes, are 100% “virtual”.

Think of it as the ultimate extension of telecommuting!

  • Do you need someone to take repetitive, boilerplate work off your hands?
  • Do you find yourself doing everything in your business by yourself?
  • Have a particular task you don’t have the skills – or time- to do yourself?

If so, virtual assistant services might be just what your business needs.

Working from their own homes (or alternatively, our Manilla office), virtual staff use telecommuting technology to help businesses just like yours. And all while operating from a completely different continent.


Why your businesses needs virtual assistant services

One industry that the shift towards telecommuting has helped is the business outsourcing industry (BPO). Part of this is because providing these services is more feasible than it’s ever been.

The other reason? Because business owners like you have realised the benefits of making virtual staff a part of your operations!

Outsourcing providers such as VirtualStaff365 help small and medium sized businesses find suitable virtual assistants for all sorts of roles:

  • Personal assistants
  • Data entry
  • Accountants and bookkeepers
  • Graphic designers
  • SEO experts
  • Call centre operators

The list goes on. We can even source highly-specialised, niche services for you too!

We also help larger businesses to source outstanding office-based outsourcing solutions in the Philippines and South Africa.

Do you feel like you don’t have enough time for yourself? Are you overworked and overstressed?

Ring us on (03) 8842 4300 or contact us online to learn how we use telecommuting technology to help your business save money and time.