"Eles passaram a levar trabalho para casa."
Strange but to continue having the same meaning, start or begin are the best verbs to be used. When you use passar + a + verb, it takes the meaning of start.
hm.. I think "passar" is one of those verbs that can have A LOT of meanings. So, I guess passar + a + infinitive verb means "to start to...". But, I was reading an article in Brazil and the article mentioned "passaram a ser", which translated as "they became". Is this correct too? :)
Thats true.... here are some of the uses: pass (by), become, start, iron, pass over, cross, go (by), walk (by), spend...