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!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

sue August 1, 2008 at 9:00 am

How right you are to highlight the psychological benefits of working from home. We talked about this too recently in i-working.

http://www.i-working.org/human-resources/remote-working-the-psychological-side/#more-34

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Lori Benns August 7, 2008 at 10:23 pm

How true is this! We know the benefit to working virtual based on our personal experiences. We can also compare to the corporate world experience. The “political office” issue is that many of the larger corporate office environments are still under the belief that there needs to be a physical presence in the office for one to accomplish their daily tasks. Even working from home one day a week in the past allowed me to accomplish more in that one day than I could in an entire week due to the constant interruptions that occur in an office environment.

The paradigm shift in the “physical presence” needs to change. We can be just as present in a virtual state as we can in an office state! And if that helps the environment then I am all for that!!!

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