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At MIT, mastering the science of working from home

By Rachel Feintzeig, reporter, Wall Street Journal

A group of employees at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s business school is experimenting with policies that could usher in a new era of flexible of work.

MIT being MIT, that experiment involves some robots.

A couple of years ago, Peter Hirst, who runs the executive-education arm of MIT’s Sloan School of Management, wondered what might happen if his 35 employees could work wherever, and whenever, they wanted. The Cambridge, Mass., school had long offered flexible work arrangements to those who requested them, but “it had always felt a little like a very special benefit,” Hirst said.

When construction forced his staff to move offices about three-quarters of a mile from the business school’s main buildings in the summer of 2013, Hirst started to question why most employees were required to trek to their desks every day.

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