Home-Based Employment and Family Life

Home-Based Employment and Family Life

Home-Based Employment and Family Life

Home-Based Employment and Family Life


The first longitudinal academic study of the phenomenon of working from home--who is doing it, what they are doing, and how it affects family life and community.


Paul Edwards and Sarah Edwards

"I can't die. Not now. My son is too young." Even though I had a deliriously high fever, I still remember saying these words to the nurse. A few days later I learned I had almost died that night from a sudden stress-related illness, and the doctor warned when he released me from the hospital that if I didn't change my lifestyle, I might not be so lucky next time.

Our son was only two years old when Sarah discovered that our two-career- couple life was not working as well as we thought. We should have realized it before. We were up early every morning, often racing to the airport to catch separate planes. We'd come home late and go into our son's darkened bedroom to wake him up for a little quality time. Our only real time together as a family was on weekends, but they too were filled with the rush and pressure of completing the many errands, household tasks, and other responsibilities of a family.

What options did we have? We both wanted to pursue our careers. We both wanted a lifestyle only a two-career income could produce. It wasn't until Sarah attended a meeting at the office of an outside consultant that we discovered there was another choice. Rare as it was at the time, this consultant's office was in his home.

We liked the idea immediately. Sarah would quit her job and open a private psychotherapy practice in our home--the one we had to buy so she could have a separate office. Paul would run his consulting firm from his downtown office. That plan lasted only a few months. Why should Paul pay all that extra rent and overhead when he too could work from our new home? When he started working from home, however, the neighbors thought he was . . .

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