"Working from home" used to be thought a euphemism for slacking off. But now new research from the University of Texas suggests that it may be just the opposite. In "The hard truth about telecommuting" researchers Mary C. Noonan and Jennifer L. Glass argue that where the impact of telecommuting has been empirically evaluated, it increases productivity and retention while decreasing absenteeism. It can also reduce traffic congestion, office overheads, commuting time and cost. That's the good news for the 24 percent of Americans who now do, on average, around 6 hours of work per week from home.