Telecommuting as a Smart Green Strategy
Paul Krygowski , Editor | Jun 1, 2014
Title: Contributor
Topic category: A Greener Way of Working
Green Homestead
Jo Ann Snover

2,000 telecommuting employees x 30 mile average commute = 6,930 tons of CO2 and 440,748 gallons of gas saved

On a very raining Friday here in San Francisco (big surprise!), I thought it would be a good time to discuss a subject that is near and dear to my heart, telecommuting/virtual office. As I am sure most everyone knows, telecommuting is working remotely, from home (in a virtual office), a coffee shop or anywhere else where the tools of your trade are accessible and usable.

I am huge fan of this work style and have used the flexibility afforded by it to increase my own productivity and happiness significantly, for example I did not have to brave the rough weather today and instead used that time to continue my work. I am 100% confident that in my case it really is a win-win for everyone (and my customers/clients either internally or externally, the company and me). I have been so fortunate to work all over the world, with no disruption of access or performance.

Before delving into the green side of teleworking, I point readers to this summary of the Avaya Unified Communications value proposition and solution:

Unified Communications for Remote Workers is a complete solution of technologies and services that address the communications needs of full- and part-time teleworkers. Avaya gives teleworkers a set of tools that mirror the office work environment, with all of the features they need to communicate with colleagues and customers, quickly, reliably, and accurately. It keeps remote teleworkers well informed and highly productive.

The Green Side of Telecommuting

Now, telecommuting is not just great for productivity and work/life balance, it also has some significant green benefits. Avaya has great technology for telecommuting, and right now abut 13 % of my colleagues are full time teleworkers, also called Virtual Office (VO). These colleagues are like me and do their work without a dedicated space in an Avaya facility.

One of the major benefits is the ability of enterprises to adjust their real estate footprint to accommodate fewer employees coming into the office on a regular basis, or switching to drop in areas as opposed to dedicated offices for everyone. This reconfirmation of the office setting can really increase the density of the office environment, while increasing the comfort and productivity in the office. Here at Avaya, we have seen significant real estate savings as a result of conscious decisions to hire and employ dedicated teleworkers.

A second major impact that can result from telecommuting is the removal of daily gas intensive commuting and all that gas that gets burned on those daily drives to the office.

For example, a colleague recently used Avaya's telecommuting calculator to do a rough profile of a organization with 2,000 employees, 30 mile average commuting (which is inline with this ABC news poll) and full telecommuting, i.e. working exclusively from a home office. From these, we get projections of 6,930 tons of CO2 and 440,748 gallons of gas saved. That is a lot of emissions/gas, with no change in the operations of the business.

I am curious, what are your experiences with telecommuting? Are you a fan? Are there any impacts, positive or negative, I am missing?

Wilson Korol is the Sustainability Business Leader at Avaya. He is responsible for making the company’s products and operations as environmentally friendly as possible.

Read more of Wilson's posts about Green and Sustainability issues in the workplace.

Wilson Korol
Tags: Telecommuting, Work, Sustainability
comments powered by Disqus
Learn about Avaya's Green products and commitment to Sustainability
Watch This Video

Avaya's technology and public policy leaders share insights about how the company is helping customers lower their carbon footprint while reducing voice and data costs. Avaya innovations - led by Avaya Aura™ span unified communcations, contact centers and data networking. Learn more at ‪http://www.avaya.com.

Avaya's commitment to Sustainability is helping customers lower their carbon footprint while reducing voice and data costs.
Some Smart Reading

Environmental Stewardship is all-inclusive.

Organized environmental stewardship activities have been taking place since the Sierra Club was founded in May, 1892. Companies of all sizes all around the globe have implemented varying levels of environmental improvements. These changes have been afoot for decades by individual companies. However, it is through the collective efforts of all companies that will make an impact in carbon footprint reductions necessary to stem and turn the tide of global warming.

Avaya Intelligent Communications solutions support your company, large or small, to become more environmentally friendly.

A “carbon footprint” is the direct effect that your actions and lifestyle have on the environment due to carbon dioxide emissions from such activities as traveling to and from work or the use of electricity. Avaya designs products, applications and solutions, which can help you reduce your carbon footprint. They help minimize travel by supporting remote workers, collaboration via audio and web conferencing, datacenter footprint reductions and more. Avaya helps you address your environmental goals, while contributing to your bottom line.

Read the Avaya Fact Sheet on the many ways Avaya is building new Green products helping companies lower their Cardon Footprint.
AvayaLive™ Connect

AvayaLive™ Connect is an inexpensive, self-installed UC service uniquely designed for small business. Discover how Unreasonable Adventures leverages this technology to help grow their business, improve service and lower costs.

A Case Study: Unreasonable Adventures and Eco-Tourism and Adventure Tourism Company