Many middle managers and landlords are saying (and hoping) that working at home is not productive. Most of them are missing the point. Companies in cities like New York, San Francisco, and London are spending about $15,000 is a year to keep an employee at a desk.

Bosses should not ask themselves, "Can my employee work remotely?" Instead, they should ask: "If I reallocate $15,000 a year to support an employee's productivity, could they produce better work without spending every day at THE office?" For millions of employees, the answer is a resounding yes.

Note that avoiding the office does not necessarily mean working in one's living room or nursery. Employees could work in (mostly shared/flexible) satellite offices near home. The "main" office could be visited as necessary or never at all. Cutting down permanent real estate costs leaves lots of room for fun stuff like on-demand meeting rooms, offsites, corporate trips, and digital productivity tools.