Recently my colleague forwarded a link to a very interesting article: ‘Telecommuting might be wrong answer for stressed-out parents. It was about a study reported in the Journal of Business and Psychology, about how employees working from home having a higher risk of stress and burnout. But what struck me about the article was the picture of a ‘mom with an infant in her arms and a preschooler behind her looking out the window. Mom is sitting at a computer and presumably working from home or telecommuting. In my opinion, an article like this really does a disservice to the concept of telecommuting as a legitimate business tool that supports the organization and the individual through flexibility. The picture in the article implies that working from home supports working parents because they can keep their kids at home. Here is the problem: first, children should be in a high-quality supervised environment, not just kept quiet while mommy is working. Second, telecommuting is not about working parents, it’s about having flexibility for workers in general to get their job done in a way that makes sense to the business and to their personal preferences/situations. The focus on telecommuting supporting (or in the case of the article creating more stress for) working parents keeps the issue of work/life approaches such as telecommuting marginalized or considered to be an accommodation rather than a legitimate business tool. Next time your boss is considering offering flexibility, let’s hope they don’t have the image of people working from home with their children in the background. The complexities of life and the need for productivity and business outcomes coupled with the reality that workers have lives outside of work should be the focus of the discussion on telecommuting. Not unsupervised children and parents cobbling together the opportunity to work while at home.