The definition of telework is an arrangement whereby an employer allows employees to work or to perform official duties at home or in a location other than the standard office or workplace. Instead of commuting to the office to do work, the employee stays at home or goes to a nearby location and performs work from there.
Traditionally people who work for a business or organization travel to an official location and perform duties at that location as their work for that organization. The costs of office real estate, the costs of energy and support for office spaces, the pollution created and the roads necessary to allow commuting to work have caused employers and the government to find new ways for employees to perform work, but not come in to the office in order to do that work.
Telework is a way for employees to still provide value to their employer, by continuing to perform their normal tasks, but to accomplish these tasks from a location other than the official office. Most times this means working from home. More recently telework centers and coffee shops with wireless Internet access have become attractive locations to work from. The employee travels very little distance and uses technology to connect to and interact with the rest of their company or agency.
In many cases, telework also has increased value and benefit for the teleworker. Their commute is reduced or eliminated, the hours it takes to get to and from work are eliminated, and their work schedule becomes flexible enough to deal with family and personal issues without interfering with the performance of their jobs.