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The Downfall of the Downstairs Commute

Working from home may not be as great as you think.
Find out why.

Working from home may not be as great as you think. A study has found that people who work from home are not always happier. They are likely to work more hours and end up with more family conflict than those who keep work at the office.

Ellen Kossek, Ph.D., a professor of labor and industrial relations at Michigan State University followed 95 supervisors and more than 300 employees. She found that people who only work in the office spent, on average, 43 hours a week doing their job. Employees who worked at two locations--work and home, for example--spent 45 hours at the job. And those who worked from three places--teleworking outside of the office and home--spent an average of 52 hours per week on the job.

Kossek also measured for family conflict, finding that people who worked at home had difficulty establishing boundaries between work and home--to the detriment of both.

"We've moved into the home but we have not thought how to implement it," says Kossek. She does not recommend that companies drop work flexibility. Instead, she recommends that out-of-office workers establish a strong divide between work and home. "People are working all the time and they are taking work with them everywhere," she says.