I have been a home-based employee for about nine months. When I tell folks that I have a home office, they are quick to note how nice it must be and how they wish they could work from home. Now, I'm not complaining, but it's not all it's cracked up to be. I've found that I generally work longer hours than I ever did in Bethesda. Also, my work hours are much more fluid now. While I am in the office most mornings by 8am and generally knock off by 4:30 or 5, it's not uncommon for me to have an hour or two in the evening or over the weekend when I find myself working on a project to get a bit ahead or to catch up. Now, this doesn't mean that I am in the office 12 hours a day. Sometimes I will come in late because I was at the gym or swimming, or I'll take a longer lunch so I can get in a run or a bike ride. Overall though, I spend more time in my new office than I ever did in Bethesda. What I love about being a telecommuter is the flexibility that this arrangement allows. While LexisNexis is very reasonable about work-life balance, my bosses are especially accommodating. I think this is largely because I am a decent employee, I get my work done, I meet deadlines, and I require very little hand-holding to accomplish my project goals. Both of my bosses have other HBEs, so they are more comfortable with having employees that aren't in the office. Last Friday, I had a serious family emergency that required me to head back to Greenville for a few days. Heather and I left on Saturday, she returned Sunday, and I came back on Tuesday night. The kicker is that I hardly missed an hour of work. I carried my personal laptop and, using my RSA hard token, able to remain in contact with my boss, coworkers, and vendors while I was working from my mom's house and a coffee shop. What amazes me is that there are so many opportunities to create more efficient businesses by taking advantage of technology, connectivity, and the desire of employees to work from home. As I mentioned above, the telecommuting lifestyle is not for everyone, and I'm not saying that we can replace the office system with a country of home-based employees. If you have a problem motivating yourself or keeping yourself on task, telecommuting is a recipe for disaster. If your boss doesn't trust you or if they feel the need to micromanage, you will fail as a telecommuter.