(WJBK) – Think about it: No alarms, no drive to work. For Stuart Jankelovitz, who works in tech, it’s a reality he’s lived for 10 years.
“I have been home when the kids have come home from school. I’ve had the opportunity to go to soccer matches and tennis matches and school plays and those kinds of things because I have the flexibility of working at home,” he said.
Jankelovitz is one of 8 million Americans working from home. He’s developed a client list and is heading up his own business. But for companies considering allowing employees to do so, there’s a lot to consider. Taking care of kids may not be the right reason.
“The employer is free to say no, that’s not an appropriate reason to be working from home,” said employment attorney Terry Bonnette. “Because you’re not working, you’re taking care of your child.”
Then there’s labor laws. Who takes care of overtime? And why allow one person to telecommute and not another? Trust and discretion become factors. And then there’s injuries.
“(The law) requires employers provide a safe work environment. If the employee is working in their home what control do employers have over the safety, there? Or what responsibilities do they even have? Does the employer have a responsibility to make sure that employees home is safe? If an employee gets injured while performing work, they may be entitled to worker’s comp claim,” Bonnette said.
And even as more people are doing it, it’s not for everyone.
“I actually hear that all the time from people. They say how is that possible. I would be getting up every two seconds to get something to eat or I would be watching television or whatever. And it does take discipline. You do have to make sure you recognize that when you are working, you’re working. It is really no different than if you were in an office so to speak,” Jankelovitz said.