As mentioned last week in my post about greening HR, telecommuting is often cited as one of the most valuable (to both employers and employees) green benefit to offer. Telecommuting has been credited with a variety of advantages including improved work/family balance, supervisor-staff relationships, job satisfaction, worker retention, productivity and career prospects, as well as reduced stress, absenteeism and recruiting, office space and parking costs.
Kate Lister ad Tom Harnish, the folks behind the great telecommuting blog, Undress4Success, are writing a book called Undress4Success–The Naked Truth About Working From Home to be published by John Wiley & Sons in March 2009. The team have compiled a great deal of research and posit that work-at-home programs could reduce Gulf Oil Imports by almost 75%. If that’s accurate, it could be a game-changer.
They also developed a calculator that tells you how much fuel and greenhouse gases telecommuters in the community currently save and how much employees in your area could save by teleworking. When I calculated the numbers for the District of Columbia (my home), it told me that 4% of the population already telecommutes saving the planet 23,326 tons of CO2 and each of them $807 a year in gas. The calculator also reported that almost 36% of us in the District could work at home which would save the planet 221,135 tons of CO2 and each of us, well, $807. While this is very cool to know, I wondered at first exactly how I could put this data to good use. If I were an employer I could calculate the good I would be doing if I let my employees telecommute (number of my employees allowed to telecommute x the per person savings per year). Also, if I wanted to convince my boss to let me telecommute, this could help my case. All very cool.
Another good place to get the skinny on telecommuting is through Best Workplaces for Commuters, a program that provides employers with all the resources necessary to start offering commuter benefits. (Employers that meet the National Standard of Excellence in commuter benefits—a standard created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency—can get on the list of “Best Workplaces for Commuters.” ) Also, their Best Workplaces for Commuters Teleworkers Guide is chock full of useful information.
The bottom line is that telecommuting is a win-win for both employers and employees. If you don’t believe Kate and Tom or me, check out the data on the pros and cons at Undress4Success.com.
Do you allow your employees to telecommute? Please share your stories.
Photo by Louis Hall at sxc.hu.