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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.

SOURCE:
Wilson Korol
Tags: Telecommuting, Work, Sustainability
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