Teleworking saves time, money, carbon footprint

Via @kiwork on Twitter, I read this press release from Sun, telling how their study of their flexible work program, they discovered that their employees on the program saved considerable money.

Main points:

  • Employees saved more than $1,700 per year in gasoline and wear and tear on their vehicles by working at home an average of 2.5 days a week.
  • Office equipment energy consumption rate at a Sun office was two times that of home office equipment energy consumption, from approximately 64 watts per hour at home to 130 watts per hour at a Sun office.
  • Commuting was more than 98 percent of each employee’s carbon footprint for work, compared to less than 1.7 percent of total carbon emissions to power office equipment.
  • By eliminating commuting just 2.5 days per week, an employee reduces energy used for work by the equivalent of 5,400 Kilowatt hours/year.
  • Working from home 2.5 days per week saved the employees in the study an average of 2.5 weeks of commute time (8 hours/day, 5 days/week).

Earlier I had seen this blog post about working more intelligently, and allowing workers to work from home (or elsewhere). It discusses how to encourage your company to make the move to sanity for the staff. It’s interesting to me that many software companies, the very companies making it possible to telework, are some of the most resistant to the change. Crazy.

Of course, there’s the changes made at Best Buy headquarters, to move from the 9-5, time managed work environment to a Results Oriented Work Environment, where it doesn’t matter if or when you come into the office, or how much time you spend there. You are only judged on getting things done, i.e., results. Here’s another look at it.

Then there was this post about Herb Keller of Southwest Airlines at 37signals. His key word? Treat employees like customers. Then, they will take care of the customers.

The bottom line here, we can best achieve work-life balance by removing artificial constraints that remain from the work environment of the 1950’s, but rather move into the 21st century.

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