Ten years ago this month -- back in June 1998 -- I left the office and began working from home full-time. From the perspective of ten years out, it looks like one of the better decisions I've made. Saving that commute time has meant more time for my family, my neighbors, and my home. I'm there for my children when they come home from school. It's easy to arrange for a plumber or other repairman to stop by without taking extra time off work. I have the energy and the time to cook meals in the evening, something I rarely had when I was commuting to my full-time job. A child sent home from school with pink-eye? Once even such a minor thing would have cost me a day off work and jeopardized the ability to meet deadlines; now it's no problem. Working from home makes it much easier to balance home and work.
Despite the talk about full-time mothers, I suspect working at home is probably closer to the historical reality of how people arranged their lives in the past. How many people had the luxury that a woman had no responsibilities outside raising children? But for most of human history, people have both lived and worked at their own homes.
My children are still in school for a few more years yet, so I'm looking forward to several more years of telecommuting before I think about being in an office environment again. I am probably more productive at home because there are fewer distractions. But with all the advantages of telecommuting, I have to wonder: will I ever actually want to be in an office environment again? A cubicle-farm can't really compete with the comforts of home.