Another benefit of tele-commuting: Recess for grownups

Used to be that when the lure of a warm, cloudless day proved irresistible, we'd take leave of our puritanical work ethic, conjure everything we could remember from sophomore drama class and call in sick.

Today, we have no qualms about penciling a two-hour bike ride or run into our Day-Timer -- the one we use at work.

For years, the American worker was bound by a 9-to-5 workweek. You punched a clock in the morning, got a 30-minute break at noon, counted the minutes as they ticked down to quitting time. Slip out during the day? Somebody, preferably you, had better be deathly ill.

During the past decade or so, that has changed. An increase in temporary contract workers, a growing number of self-employed entrepreneurs and American businesses realizing the economies of letting people work from home have redefined the once-rigid workweek.

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