3 Ways Working from Home Benefits the Environment -- and Your Bottom Line

You know it's important to take care of the environment. You recently bought a fuel-efficient car, and you have a recycling program at your office. However, did you know that working from home benefits the environment, even if it's just a few employees, a couple days a week? It can seem daunting to open up the floodgates of letting employees work from home, but you can ease the transition by implementing cloud technology for applications with the advantages of video conferencing to give your employees the tools to serve your customers.

Here are three benefits of starting a telecommuting program at your business:

1. Positively Affects Environment

If everyone whose jobs could be done remotely telecommuted at least half the time, Global Workplace Analytics estimates that more than 119 billion miles of highway driving would be eliminated, resulting in $64 billion in gas savings and 54 tons of greenhouse gas eliminated.

Even a single business making a shift can make a big impact. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, Aetna estimates its telecommuting program saved 46,700 metric tons in greenhouse gas emissions in a single year, and Xerox reports its program eliminated 40,894 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as 4.6 million gallons of gas. Even if your company isn't as large as Xerox or Aetna, simply taking a few employees off the road every day makes a difference.

Working from home benefits the environment, even if it's just a few employees, a couple days a week.

2. Reduces Costs to Your Business

When employees work from home, you can rent or buy smaller office space, which means a big savings right up front. Your heating, cooling, and electric bills will decrease because of your smaller space. While you probably want to keep some flexible space available for when remote employees come into the office, this is likely a much smaller footprint than having a dedicated space for each employee.

According to FlexJobs, telecommuters also typically use PDFs and electronic documents instead of printing every form. This means lower paper and print costs as well as less physical storage space required, so a company will need even less space.

3. Lessens Impact on Local Public Transportation

The health of the environment has been brought to the forefront over the past few years, sparking conversation and yielding new ideas to make day-to-day practices more "green." For example, the installment of trains in new residential communities has certainly taken vehicles off the road. However, the result has meant trains, buses, and subway cars are filled with people. This makes commute times longer and fills up parking lots at stations.

This situation became such a challenge in New Jersey that mayors asked employers to let employees work from home to ease heavy commute loads on trains, reported NJ.com. Even if you don't work in New Jersey, public officials and other commuters will be thankful if you lighten the loads by allowing employees to conduct their work from home.

You don't have to jump in full force to see how working from home benefits the environment. Start by allowing a few employees to work remotely one or two days a week. Once you work out the kinks, you can expand the program and increase the positive impact your business has on the environment.

Visit Vonage Business to learn more about using technology to enable remote workers to be active team members from wherever they work.

Jennifer Goforth Gregory
Jennifer Goforth Gregory Contributor

Jennifer Goforth Gregory is a technology freelance writer specializing in B2B and telecommunications topics. She has written for national brands including IBM, Samsung, ADTRAN, Adobe, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Verizon, Costco and American Express. One of her superpowers is being able to translate technical speak from the experts that make products work into language everyone else can understand. Jennifer has a master’s degree in technical communication and lives in North Carolina with her husband and two kids.

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