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Working from home: Employers weigh telecommuting benefits

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Working from home or "telecommuting" is an ideal situation for a lot of people.

The woman you're about to meet has been doing it for eight years and says the key to being successful is making sure you treat it as if you are going into the office for work.

It was just another day at the office for Maricopa resident Lynn Lanier, but in this case, the office is only 10 feet from her bedroom.

"I haven't stepped foot in the office for eight years, and my last three bosses I've never met," she said.

Lynn is an IT project manager for a company based in Arkansas, but with her home office set up, she does her job more than a thousand miles away.

"I mean I literally get up in the morning I go sit at my desk and I'm working. If you IM [instant message] me, I'm at my desk, if you call me, I'm at my desk. And they can tell if you're working or not," she explained.

She says it's that kind of work ethic you have to have in order to be a productive telecommuter.

"I do have people in my office who say that they can telecommute -- because they wouldn't be productive, they wouldn't be disciplined enough to sit there and actually work," said Lynn.

Companies like Yahoo! and Best Buy are finding that out -- scaling back or cutting out telecommuting altogether after discovering some employees weren't putting in the time.

"I guess I wasn't really surprised -- because there is that mentality -- oh, you work from home, you must not really be working -- and I think a lot of people do think that," said Lynn.

One other thing she found: when you work from home, there is no office gossip.

"Right.  I'm the last to know anything that's going on."

Lynn says the only downside for her is that it can get a little lonely without the interaction with coworkers.  But on the flip side, without spending time chit chatting, you can get a lot more done.



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