With the millennial generation becoming so prevalent in the workforce of tomorrow, it is obvious that the job industry as a whole has been forever changed. Whether employers are empowering employees by giving them more autonomy instead of using fear-based motivation tactics, or that opportunities are much more appealing to young people, as is the case with tech and marketing startups, the industry transformations are clear — and the outcome is nothing short of exciting.
One particular job benefit these young individuals are seeking, which just so happens to be green as well is telecommuting also known as working remotely, working from home and even telework.
While telecommuting is not an entirely new concept, the popularity of this form of work has certainly grown in the last decade. In turn, the environment may finally be safe from the massive hustle and bustle of cars that their predecessors once found to be the cultural norm.
What is telecommuting?
Telecommuting is a work arrangement that permits an employee to work from a remote location rather than the fixed workplace address, and is often an incentive given to knowledge workers or those who work in clearly defined roles and have fixed goals to achieve.
How does telecommuting help the environment?
Although it may seem fairly obvious that less cars on the roads means less carbon dioxide in the air, this is far from the only way in which telecommuting is making a positive impact on our environment.
For instance, computers collectively emit as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as the aviation industry does. In fact, the basic desk computer takes over 1.8 tons of chemicals, fossil fuels, and water to produce — and, once it is distributed and begins to be used, it emits roughly 0.1 ton of carbon dioxide per year.
Related Post: 10 Ways to Green Your Workplace
Therefore, by reducing the amount of computers necessary in the office through telecommuting, you can also significantly reduce the amount of carbon emissions your company gives off. In turn, you can prevent what is often referred to as “The Great American Smokeout,” which is the cause of harmful chemicals being emitted in our air and leading to countless diseases and lung issues in the process.
This same reduction in carbon emissions can come from the lack of electricity and power being used as well. For instance, if you have 10 employees and all of them use computers, have phones to charge, fans at their desk, and perhaps even energy-sucking heaters; this electricity can easily add up in a tremendously wasteful way.
However, if five of these employees chose to work from home, you would be able to significantly reduce this power consumption and not only increase profit, but also decrease your energy waste.
Lastly, telecommuting also reduces the sheer amount of paper waste within the office. In fact, 50 percent of business waste and 25 percent of landfill waste come in the form of paper. On top of this, the average office employee in America uses a staggering 10,000 pieces of paper every year and 45 percent of this paper winds up in the trash in the same day after it is printed and used.
Therefore, by reducing the amount of employees in the office and switching to cloud-based and digital tools, you can save on paper waste and save on office expenses too!
How Does Telecommuting Help Business?
Businesses that offer telecommuting work arrangements ‘win’ in a number of ways:
- Reduction in the mileage rates as company cars don’t need to be driven as much
- Reduction in carbon dioxide emissions
- Save on car service repair bills
- Decrease in computer purchases
- Use less energy and save on electricity bills
- Save on overall office costs (electricity, paper, print cartridges) which improves the bottom line
- Less filing to be done which improves worker efficiency
- Less filing cabinets means freeing up office space or downsizing the office and reducing office rental expenses
Lastly, telecommuting helps to improve employee engagement, increase profitability and employee retention. In fact, 80 to 90 percent of the US job workforce says they would be happier in a job that allows them to work from home. By providing your employees with what they want, you not only get to save money and your environment, but create a stronger, happier work culture.
By trusting your millennial employees and allowing them some freedom, you strengthen their loyalty to your business because a work relationship based on trust encourages them to actually want to work, rather than feel as though they are forced to do work.
And by incorporating modern technology such as cloud technology and Wi-Fi remote calling, you can give your remote teams and employees the freedom to travel, grow as individuals, take pride and ownership of their work results.