Environmental Benefits of Telecommuting by Brandy Nasi

We are so excited to have Brandy Nasi of ECO Virtual Services be our guest blogger.  We are happy to share a very informative blog she has written about how the environment can benefit from telecommuting and home-based businesses.

As our society’s concern for the environment becomes greater and greater, we are looking for more and more ways to reduce the footprint we leave on this planet. The internet has brought us new and multifaceted ways to not only save time and energy, but also reduce our rate of fuel consumption and pollution. Still, many people believe there are some thing that cannot be cut back. Traveling to work, is one of them. Very few people, even who live in cities, can reasonably walk or bike to their workplace. But the vast technological advancements of the last twenty years makes it possible to reduce and even eliminate the so-called “commuter’s pollution.”

How? Through implementing a telecommuting program. Allowing employees to work from home helps companies fulfill their corporate social responsibility (CSR) standards, while communities also benefit from enhanced air quality and traffic reduction. If even half of today’s commuters were able to, rather than driving or taking the bus to work, stay at home and work from their personal computer, they would be playing a key role in saving the environment.

It isn’t just about air pollution—though, of course, reducing air pollution could save millions of people from the pains of asthma all the way up to lung cancer. Reducing commuter traffic cuts back on water pollution, and most importantly oil consumption. Our society is only just becoming aware of how our serious and dangerous our dependence on oil is. And corporations could easily help alleviate some of that burden by offering telecommuting alternatives.

TelCoa reports that if 32 million Americans worked from home one day a week, we could save 74 million gallons of gasoline. They also not that research shows more than 53 million Americans have jobs that could be done as successfully, if not more successfully, in the home environment—meaning the savings could be even greater. The Consumer Electronic Association finds that ever telecommuter saves and average of 1.4 gallons of gas every day. And while that’s savings for society, on a more selfish note, it’s also savings for the telecommuters—about $1.8 million annually.

Even having fewer people in the office (and therefore, eventually, smaller offices) could save energy, fully making up for the increased energy used in the home. For every day someone telecommutes instead of physically commuting to the office, they save 16 kilowatt-hours. These savings can even be magnified by using Energy Star appliances and computers in your home office.

A government study, run from 2001 to 2004 found that telecommuting programs in five metropolitan areas saved 25 tons of pollution per year. And the 4,500 telecommuters only worked at home an average of two days. Telecommuting just one day a week, the Telework Research Network finds, could save upwards of 423,000 tons (yes, tons) of greenhouse gas.

And to speak of personal benefits, the hours the typical American worker spend commuting a year (about 100 hours), is more than the hours they spend on vacation. Telecommuting even a few days a week can significantly reduce this number, upping productivity and also relaxation time. Plus, with the advances made in virtual meeting spaces and teleconferences, corporations have less need to send employees abroad, reducing air travel by an estimated 3 billion tons.

Any way you look at it, Telecommuting (working virtually) is good not only for the environment, but also for the wallets and mentality of the commuters themselves. Telecommuting is less stressful, more productive, and saves both employees and corporations money across the board.

Contact us today to see how we can help you reduce your carbon footprint and help the plant go green, once office at a time!

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