Working from home is on the up and up.
According to the new book by pollster Mark Penn, "Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes," 4.2 million Americans work from home, up 23 percent since 1990, and almost 100 percent since 1980.
Penn argues that microtrends--"small, under-the-radar forces that can involve as little as 1 percent of the population"--have a strong impact on our society. Telecommuting is one such microtrend, according to the book, and is advancing because it eliminates commutes, saves gas money, helps employees in their quest for work-life balance, and mostly because technology is galloping apace.
The Wall Street Journal's Sue Shellenbarger explores the increasing number of employers hiring professionals to telecommute full-time from the start of their tenure. Though she reports that landing one of these jobs isn't easy, in a separate blog-post she writes, "the widening trickle of home-based new hires at big, mainstream employers seems to mark an exciting new era, not only for work-life quality but for productivity."
While telecommuting isn't for everyone, some workers flourish under the setup. So what does it take to succeed?