Just this week, employees of Yahoo who work from home were told they'd have to start reporting back to the office. That's caused a lot of controversy over working at home and whether it's right for employees and companies.
Out of the 800 employees at Esurance in Sioux Falls, 30 percent work from home. It was an idea born out of necessity six years ago.
"We were running out of space in this facility and wanted to find creative ways to expand our footprint in the Sioux Falls area and avoid going to another market to start another call center and incur all that expense," Jeff Taylor of Esurance said.
Now half of the company's customer service department works from home, including Erin Hendricks.
"My husband worked overnights and he would walk in the door at 7:15 and I had to be at work at 7:30 and it was getting a babysitter for that 20-minute commute before or coming home to work," Hendricks said.
Hendricks says "coming home to work" has made her life easier.
"I don't do laundry on the weekends. I put laundry in before I start work. I change it on my first break and I fold it and put it away at lunch," Hendricks said.
Productivity of at-home workers has also increased.
"Overall talk times decreased. The quality remained roughly the same it did in house, but some of those key call center metrics did definitely increase because there were fewer distractions," Taylor said.
But a work-at-home study by Stanford University found those with home offices can be lonely and may get less on-the-job training.
The Stanford study found one of the problems working from home is that you can be passed up for promotions; sometimes as much as 50 percent of the time. But Esurance says it has a system in place to make sure people are promoted, even when they work from home.
'We've had a number of people come back in house to train for a different position and go right back to work at home again after they took on that new role," Taylor said.
And while Esurance has opened a new call center in Texas, it is still expanding its work-at-home program.
At-home workers say they've also saved money, not only on gas from not having to commute, but also on fast food and coffee breaks.