The bigger impact of working virtually

by Tina on July 29, 2008

in General Biz,Life & Such

Loving the blog Web Worker Daily - reading it feels like a homecoming, these guys so get what my day to day existence is like!

Really great post today on Telecommuting Trends, which summarizes some great points from a recent article at Economist.com called Home Warriors.

I’ve always been a huge fan of working from home for various reasons, most of which have to do with my own lifestyle preferences. Specifically that I a) enjoy not having to put on pantyhose in order to go to work, b) have flexibility around when I do my work (so important with kids!) and c) just plain love the work I do helping businesses thrive online.

But to be honest I haven’t really considered what working virtually means outside of my own (selfish) reasons. So something really hit me when reading the post and article noted above – and that is the fact that there is a HUGE environmental consideration here as well. As stated in the article:

One study published earlier this year reckoned 33m Americans have jobs that could be done from home. If all of them started to telecommute instead of drive to work, oil imports would drop by over a quarter, and carbon emissions would fall by 67m metric tonnes a year.

Hello?! Is that not reason enough alone for folks to work from home where possible? Living here in the heart of oil country (Alberta, Canada) I may not want to say this too loudly, but i’m a big fan of lowering our fuel usage by 25%. We all know the environment needs as much help as we can give it these days.

And the article continues to say:

In terms of hours saved, each telecommuter would get the equivalent of an extra 25 working days of holiday per year.

Less time on the road means more time for family/fun. When we still lived in Calgary my husband spent 2 hours a day going to and from work. After moving to a much smaller city he spends probably 30 minutes total each day driving – which means he can leave later in the morning, get home earlier after work and spend more time with us overall. A huge benefit in anyone’s lifestyle I daresay.

As stated in the Web Worker Daily Post:

There seems to be a perfect storm brewing – of technological innovation, improved competitiveness, soaring fuel costs and a desire to tackle climate change – that might push telecommuting and remote working into the default pattern of work for most employers.

Bring on the storm!

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