Working From Home: The Good, the Bad and the Bottom Line

Smart advice from a home-office expert

by Matthew Solan • Next Avenue

Most mornings are like this: I grab the first T-shirt from my clothes basket, slip on the same khaki shorts I’ve worn for two days, skip the Barbasol and go to work. My commute is 20 steps, from a French press coffee pot to the home office, which was once my front porch. 
This is my place of business. I have been fortunate to work at home for seven years now, and if I have it my way this will be my last desk job.  
Working from home used to be the stuff of infomercials, but nowadays it has become business as usual. It is estimated that 20 million to 30 million people work from home at least one day a week, and that there are 10 million to 15 million home-based businesses, according to statistics from Global Workplace Analytics. The latest figures for the number of Americans who work from home or remotely at least one day a month increased from about 12.4 million in 2006 to 17.2 million in 2008 — that's a 39 percent increase in two years. 

(More: 6 Steps to a Workable Home Office)
Older adults are prime candidates. There are an estimated 30 million small businesses in the United States and roughly half of them are home based, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Entrepreneurial activity is at its highest level in almost 15 years, with 55- to 64-year-olds representing the second most active age group. And 25 percent of employers plan to offer telecommuting to boomers who have retired but still want to keep doing some work.

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