PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Working from home isn’t a day at the beach, as experts say people often end up working longer hours, but there are plenty of benefits.
For many jobs, including being on TV, you can’t work from home, but there are many kinds of jobs where telecommuting is a good fit.
Experts say working from home can reduce turnover and improve morale.
Todd Miller’s commute is all of 25 seconds. From the first floor of his house downstairs to his basement computer.
“I did the whole office world. Right?” Miller said. “I was traveling many hours a day, going to the office, working in cubicles, and I’m thinking there’s gotta be a better way of doing this!”
Miller works for a company designing training programs that lets employees work from home.
He says he’s able to avoid distractions and is more productive.
“It’s a discipline. It’s the way you dress. It’s everything from the way you’re building your day, to the way you dress, to the way you treat things,” Miller explained.
In a recent survey, 39 percent of people who work from home said they put in extra hours compared to 24 percent of people at an office.
“There is this sort of double-edged sword and companies have to help their people learn to manage this tendency to overwork,” Kate Lister, the president of Global Workplace Analytics, said. “They tend to give back 50 to 60 percent of the time they would have spent on commuting, working. ”
And Miller says he often ends up working more.
“Because I know my office is here, if it’s on the weekend, and if I have to do something I need to get done, I’ll come down two to three hours, maybe early in the morning before someone wakes up doing that,” he explained.
And without a commute to work, he gets more time with his daughter, achieving a work-life balance that doctors say cuts down on stress, which can also make people more productive.
While there are a number of health benefits to working from home, there are downsides too, including one study that found home-based workers are much less likely to get promoted, seemingly confirming the cliché, “Out of sight, out of mind.”