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The Home Office is Humming How to work--<em>really</em> work--at home, and not lose your mind in the process

By Emili Vesilind

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

For the office-bound, working from home sounds like a dream come true. After all, there are no demanding bosses, office politics or snooze-inducing meetings in your living room. You can wear your sweat pants, give the old Prius a rest and even hit that midday yoga class.

Last year, 18.4 million Americans were living that fantasy. According to the market research firm Interactive Data Corp., that's the number of homebased businesses, up from 16.5 million in 2008. In that same time frame, the number of home-based franchises also crept up--from 97,403 to 98,905 units, according to Entrepreneur's annual Franchise 500®survey. And Justin Jaffe, senior analyst for Interactive Data, says his firm expects 350,000 more home-based businesses every year for the next few years.

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