I work from home. I have full time since about 1999. I was a spare room tycoon before it was cool. I did the carpet commute before people admitted openly that they operated their business this way.
I speak to a lot of lawyers about the prospect of doing the same, and I am usually amazed by those, even if they are intrigued by the idea, who cannot let themselves do it. The resistance centers on a number of things, but mainly it is old "bad for business" excuse.
This attitude probably demonstrates that law schools really do not teach lawyers about business, or how to analyze business opportunities. New lawyers tend to operate on their business prejudices, impressions of what a lawyers looks and acts like, and anecdotal examples.
It is hard to understand why lawyers do not see the benefits of working from home, when the government, in-house law firms, and big business do.
Congress passed a bill requiring every agency to establish a policy under which employees will be authorized to work from home (which they still refer to as "telework") to the "maximum extent possible".
And, a new study from the Telework Research Network outlines the benefits to small and medium-sized businesses in letting their workers work from home.
Here are some highlights of the study. Employees allowed to work from home just half the time saves the company $11,000.00 per year per employee. Also, productivity is up 27% for those employees on those work at home days.
The savings, from my experience, are substantially more for attorneys and law firms. They are even more substantial if the practice is based from home. The difference is that in business, working from home saves the company or employer money and increases its profits through productivity. In the small firm or private practice of law it saves the lawyer money. More importantly, it allows the lawyer to survive and prosper in what can otherwise be a competitive market.