Home health care concept Is it truly possible for workers to safely continue to stay home without compromising health? The answer to these questions is “yes” — with a few caveats.(Graphic by Chris Nicholls)

Working from home took on new meaning in 2020, as millions of office-based employees and contractors traded hours-long commutes for short walks between the bedroom and kitchen table — or, in the best cases, a dedicated home office.

Upsides to this COVID-induced necessity were plentiful: working from home enabled many individuals to spend more time with their families, take care of personal errands during business hours, and pursue their outside interests. While the transition to work-at-home life was stressful for many workers — like parents, who struggled to balance the demands of childrearing with work deadlines and to-do lists — many Americans came to prefer life at home, clocking into the “office” in the most convenient way possible.

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