What’s the real cost of not allowing your workers to telecommute?
I’m always in the hunt for news relating to our industry. It’s the only way for me to really keep up with trends and developments, since telecommuting or working from home can be very lonely and when you’re not surrounded (no chats by the water cooler) by people in the industry you tend to loose touch with it. This is one of the main reasons why I have my “google alerts” set to fetch relating news about the telecommuting industry.
Don’t get me wrong, there are hundreds of forums and groups one can join, unlike years gone by where there were no real connecting with others who work from home. But I find that these forums are flooded by two predominantly sets of people. Those just starting off and have tons of questions and those trying to sell you something. Maybe it’s not an actual product or service, but in many cases… an idea. And that idea usually surrounds you making “x” amount of dollars with little or no effort for a cost. PROMISES they full well know will NEVER materialize.
Back to my news feed. This morning I was reading an article I’d love to share with you, since I know you can get some points from it in the event you’d like to approach your boss with the thought of allowing you to work from home.
Telecommuting Two Days a Week Could Save Billions
For some, telecommuting is a worker’s dream. Working from home means not having to worry about catching the 8 o’clock train or getting dressed in uncomfortable business suits each day. It translates in many workers’ minds to less pressure, more flexibility and increased productivity. But aside from simply less hassle, what are the environmental benefits of telecommuting?
According to a 2008 study conducted by Telework Exchange, a company that aims to increase telecommuting options for workers, around 9.7 billion gallons of gas and $38.2 billion can be saved each year, if only 53 percent of all white-collar workers telecommuted two days per week.
The study also found that 84 percent of Americans depend on their own means of transportation to travel to and from work. On average, these workers spend $2,052 on gas and 264 hours of travel time a year just on commuting alone.
The rising price of gas, especially, has influenced the way Americans approach jobs. Twenty-eight percent of Americans want a job that involves less travel time and travel costs, and 92 percent of workers believe that their job can be completed by telecommuting, though only 39 percent telework on a regular basis.
Research network Undress4Success estimates that the United States could save $500 billion a year, reduce Persian Gulf oil imports by 28 percent and take the equivalent of 7 million cars off the road if workers were allowed to telecommute just half the time.
Sara Sutton Fell, CEO of FlexJobs, says it was her own job search that led her to realize the challenges involved in finding a telecommuting position that was not a scam. FlexJobs, a Web site that specializes in promoting legitimate telecommuting and freelancing work, boasts a 98 percent customer satisfaction rate and has been featured on popular media outlets like CNN, Yahoo! Finance, Forbes.com and AOL.
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