Boston Globe

by Justine Hofherr / September 2, 2015

If your manager gave you the option of working from home whenever you want, would you do it? And if so, how often?

These are questions an increasing number of employees are facing as more companies offer flexible work options like telecommuting, in an effort to retain skilled workers. But while some surveys say employees are more productive at home, other studies show isolation leaves workers less creative and energetic.

That’s why workers prefer choices, said Ken Matos, senior director of research at the Families and Work Institute, a nonprofit research organization that addresses the changing nature of work and family life.

“There’s a danger in thinking [telecommuting] is perfect because there are some signs that saving real estate costs by having everyone work from home could become just as unproductive as having everyone working in the office,” Matos said. “Companies should match where a person is most productive to the work they do.”

According to a 2014 study by the Families and Work Institute, over 67 percent of U.S. companies offer occasional telecommuting for at least some of their employees, up from 50 percent in 2008. Increasingly, workers (especially millennials) want flexibility in where, when, and how they work, and some businesses are eagerly offering those arrangements.


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