Teleworking (using technology to work remotely from anywhere) is one of the innovations of the modern workplace. And Telework Week – from February 14-18 – celebrates that fact. Telework has long been advocated by companies that understand the value of saving money and increased productivity for their organization. When everyone is allowed to work from their own environment, it can spell bigger profits for a business – or cost savings for government offices.
In fact, the U.S. government is even seeing the benefits of working in a virtual office environment – all employees in the General Services Administration will be telecommuting at least one day during teleworking week. During the rest of the year, about 50 percent of the employees use a teleworking day each week.
But there are benefits to telework beyond this as well! According to the Telework Research Network, over $770 million in utilities, repairs and maintenance costs would be saved if the nation’s employees stayed at home just one day a week.
The assumptions are based on a synthesis of hundreds of studies and real life examples. They recognize that not everyone wants to or can work from home, that not all driving is eliminated, and that home offices use energy too.
The costs break down as:
- $494 million in commuter costs
- $185 million from 2.3 million barrels of oil saved
- $93 million from 775 fewer traffic accidents
In addition to this, there would be 423,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions avoided – which is equal to taking 77,000 cars out of commission for an entire year!
“The savings above are just the tip of the iceburg,” said Kate Lister, principal researcher of the Telework Research Network, “If you add the many employer, employee and community benefits, once-weekly telework could save the nation $350 billion a year and potentially eliminate our oil imports from both Libya and Kuwait .”
The toll on the environment from the traditional working environment is clear. Using a virtual office option whenever possible can save money, increase productivity, and save the environment all at once!
Celebrate Telework Week even while you’re at work – educate your organization about the benefits of telecommuting for just a day.