Here’s a good article (via svn) from the New York Times about the downside of working out of a home office. I think it’s especially difficult for couples where one person works in an office and the other one works from home. I’m going to speak in generalities here, but I can since I’ve experienced this personally. The person working in the office has been through a long day at the office often combined with a commute, and a lot of times that person loves to come home, grab some dinner, hang out and relax. In contrast, the person working from home has generally been couped up in the house all day, isolated from other people, and is looking forward to getting out of the house after a long day. These two opposing forces creates an issue for sure, one that takes a fair amount of balance to overcome.
I tried working out of the house for a few months after I left Orbitz in May 2006, but I didn’t like it for the reason I outlined above. I got an office four months later and will never look back. I’ll occasionally work from home, but it’s pretty rare.
I think what we’ll see as our society continues to become more mobile, is that a lot more communal work centers will develop - either the kind of place where you pay to have your own office and that office has common amenities, or the kind where a bunch of people literally share an office. I’m really interested in both concepts, and at some point I’d like to be involved in the development of such facility. I bought the domains workspacecoop.com, workingcoop.org, chicagoworkingcoop.org in anticipation.