Wired magazine columnist (and friend of Lifehacker) Brendan I. Koerner makes the case for companies to ditch their offices entirely and let all their employees telecommute to work. Nuts? Maybe, but in a time of budget crunches and sky-high gas prices, it can save both the company and its workers a whole lot of scratch—plus up productivity.
Last year, researchers from Penn State analyzed 46 studies of telecommuting conducted over two decades and covering almost 13,000 employees. Their sweeping inquiry concluded that working from home has "favourable effects on perceived autonomy, work-family conflict, job satisfaction, performance, turnover intent, and stress." The only demonstrable drawback is a slight fraying of the relationships between telecommuters and their colleagues back at headquarters — largely because of jealousy on the part of the latter group. That's the first problem you solve when you kill your office.
While big companies with dozens of established offices (and leases) probably won't take this advice, if you're trying to make the case to your boss for telecommuting (even once or twice a week), this article's a good reference point. Photo by Ryan Irelan.