The following sentence is one among a list of recommendations in an architectural text:

Consider separate access to the ground floor in higher density development to provide work from home opportunities.

I have problem understanding what author means by "work" and "home opportunities" and the paragraph does not have a specific context to make it clearer except the fact that it is about architecture and housing design.

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    The phrase work-from-home really should be hyphenated. It's a compound adjective before the noun (“opportunities”) that it modifies. – Ben Kovitz Jan 6 '15 at 19:02
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    I think knowing the source of the sentence would be helpful in understanding whether the author means work-from-home or "opportunities to work from home". Maybe there's a problem with the phrasing and not the compound adjective. "Work-from-home" generally means telecommuting in the US, and would not require a separate access to the ground floor. @BenKovitz – ColleenV Jan 6 '15 at 19:16
  • @ColleenV Maybe there's a problem with the phrasing, but that sort of phrasing error is very rare and omitting the hyphens from compound modifiers is very common, so I think it's safe to presume the latter. The source appears to be suggesting that residential buildings be designed to enable opportunities for people to work from home. I understand work-from-home opportunities and opportunities to work from home to be the same, at least in this context (not necessarily telecommuting). – Ben Kovitz Jan 6 '15 at 19:49
  • @BenKovitz You're right about omitting hyphens from compound modifier being far more common, but I can't find the sentence in the question in the source you linked. I think this is the correct source: aucklandcity.govt.nz/council/documents/district/App10.pdf (page 22). The sentence is part of a bullet list and was probably specifically phrased to be brief. – ColleenV Jan 6 '15 at 19:57

It's actually "work-from-home opportunities", a kind of activity where you work directly from your home without leaving your apartment or house.

For example, as a freelance programmer or designer, you don't really need to travel to an office to do this kind of work. You only need your professional software and/or an Internet connection.

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    From the example sentence, it also sounds like they mean a home office situation where you can receive clients through a separate door at your home. – ColleenV Jan 5 '15 at 13:52
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    To expand on this a little bit, 'work from home' has come to mean specifically working at one's paid employment at home rather than in the office, whereas 'work at home' could imply a much wider range of activities. – peterG Jan 5 '15 at 17:18
  • @ColleenV your comment is the correct answer. – Shane Jan 6 '15 at 17:35

Consider separate access to the ground floor in higher density development to provide work from home opportunities.

The separate access allows people to receive clients and co-workers at their home without needing to allow them to walk through the living areas of the house. This provides the opportunity to work from a home office while still maintaining a professional environment. Certain professionals would find this a very attractive feature, especially in "high density" environments where leasing a separate office space might be prohibitively expensive.

In some areas, there may also be tax implications. In the US a home office has to meet certain requirements to be treated as a work space for tax purposes, and a separate entrance may be one of them (I don't know for certain).

Also as Ben Kovitz pointed out in the comments, the sentence would have been easier to understand if the compound adjective had been properly hyphenated as work-from-home.

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  • you mean even those working from whom should pay taxes in US? – codezombie Jan 6 '15 at 19:14
  • Actually the homeowner may get a tax benefit if part of their home is used as a work place. I don't know all the details, but it is something that a homeowner would like to be able to do if they can meet the requirements because it will reduce the taxes that they owe. – ColleenV Jan 6 '15 at 19:18
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    @MehdiHaghgoo Yes, Americans pay taxes even if they work from home. – Ben Kovitz Jan 7 '15 at 0:07

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