Tell Your Users Not To Commute: Telecommute

    Tell Your Users Not To Commute: Telecommute

    In case you missed it, this was National Telework Week (March 2 - 6, 2015). If you missed out, don’t worry, you have an entire year to practice teleworking before this opportunity comes around again.

    “If a million teleworkers were to work at home just 1 day each week, in a year, Canada would save some 250 million kg of CO2 emissions; 100 million litres of fuel; and 800 million fewer kilometers of mileage on our highways and streets. As a side-benefit, we would save some $40 million in fuel costs, and 50 million hours of time, to spend with our families, or on our non-work lives.” - Canadian Telework Association

    The concept of work is changing. Technology surrounds the average worker, and allows them to stay connected to their workplace regardless of the distance. In a world that’s constantly evolving it should be no surprise then, that some workers leverage these technological capabilities to work from home.Over the past few years telecommuting has become increasingly common in the professional workplace. Many businesses today allow their employees to telecommute, as it has proven to hold a number of benefits for most companies. WorkShift, a Canadian not-for-profit dedicated to workplace transformation, lists 5 main benefits that telecommuting brings to a business:

    1. Improve Employee Development, Motivation & Performance

    Studies have found that working from home can result in measurable increases to overall employee productivity. One study by Global Workplace Analytics reported that Best Buy, British Telecom, Dow Chemical and a number of other companies found that their telecommuters were 35% to 40% more productive than their other employees. By allowing your employees to work from home, you are giving them the freedom to work in a comfortable environment which in turn will increase their performance and productivity.

    2. Improve the Lives of Employees and Their Families

    The well being of your employees should be just as much a concern to you as their productivity levels. By allowing your employees to telecommute you are giving them the opportunity to spend more time with their family, cut down their commute, decrease their stress levels, and decrease the chance of viruses spreading around the office which in turn will result in less stress leave, less sick days, and overall healthier and happier employees.

    3. Reduce Operating Costs

    When your employees can telecommute they save money on the commute and you save money on operating costs and resources. Overhead can eat up a lot of a business's profitability, so any reduction of overhead costs is necessarily beneficial. If your business reimburses employees for mileage, then a decrease in mileage -by allowing them to telecommute- is money in the bank. Similarly, if you regularly have less people in the office, then you may be able to have a smaller office space, and save money on utilities.

    4. Enable Business Continuity

    How many paid workdays does your business lose to sickness, disasters, or weather? How many hours of the day do your employees lose while commuting? Telecommuting can help with that. Organizations that enable teleworking are more capable of weathering through any interruptions that may come up.

    5. Promote Environmental Stewardship

    If a single worker telecommuting one day per week reduces their CO2 footprint by over one metric tonne per year, then what about a workforce of five, or ten? What if those ten workers were telecommuting two days a week, or maybe even 4 days a week. If ten workers telecommuted four days every week they could reduce their CO2 footprint by well over 40 tonnes over the course of year.

    If you want to learn more about telecommuting, here is a link to a great video that expands on this subject.

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