Homeworker of many years standing
I've been based at home now for around 15 years and have seen the equipment, facilities and support provided by my various (major corporate) employers change radically in that time. I started out with a dumb terminal on the end of a 32kbps dial up line and now have the same facilities as in an office. Essentially there is now no difference for me in working in an office or at home.
The company has provided me with some office furniture, home printer, external screen and keyboard and phone so I am properly equipped. Today I would be very, very reluctant to move to an employer that would expect me to go back to 9-5 office hours, the daily commute and a working style that is more last century than this.
I now have a laptop that is my only machine, it goes with me to any company office, external meeting etc. I also have a PDA which is synchronised with it so that I have access to all key information wherever I am or while I'm travelling whether or not the laptop is with me.
In our offices I log in identically wherever I am, there's no difference between being in the HQ building or any of the other buildings. Its the same at home, a VPN gives me access via my home broadband. I use WiFi whenever I need it, same access as everywhere else. So as an employee I am equally able to work in any environment......and, no, my employer doesnt mind when/where I do my work or what I'm wearing(!) just as long as I meet my targets. They measure output not activity!!
Many of the older apps I used to use have been upgraded in the last couple of years so much more of what I do is browser based, keeping support issues to aminimum for the IT group. If I have a problem there's a single number for all queries and phone support of everything from o/s to apps to comms is equally well dealt with. 95% of problems are fixed first time on the phone, occaisionally (hardware usually) either a home visit or office appointment is made for the following day.
Software updates, new software installs and patchesare controlled centrally to keep the laptop stable and stop folk causing too many self-inflicted problems. The laptop is locked down and update bundles are fed to me on a controlled basis. I can postpone these a maximum three times so they dont interrupt important work so no-one can get too far behind the standard build.
Consumables are ordered online from an outsourced corporate catalogue and couriered to home the following day. So replacing paper, printer, pens, cartridges etc is actually easier than in an office where you have to find the key or owner of the stationery store which never has what you want anyway.
My hardcopy post is delivered to a virtual mailbox on company premises so I dont have to hand out my home address. It's bagged up and sent to my once a week.
So assuming the type of work is suitable for this approach, if the employer is serious and provides the proper support there's now no reason for many people not to work at home/remotely most of the time.