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Summary:

Did you know that next week, February 14 through 18, is Telework Week? I’ve gathered a few data points to help you convince your manager to embrace telecommuting, whether that’s during Telework Week or any other time of the year.

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Did you know that next week, February 14 through 18, is Telework Week? Companies and individuals are challenged to telecommute 1 or more days next week as a way to increase productivity, save money, reduce environmental impact and help employees achieve a better balance between work and life. I’ve gathered a few data points to help you convince your manager to embrace telecommuting, whether that’s during Telework Week or any other time of the year.

In general, the people who telecommute tend to be well educated with a college degree, in a higher income bracket and around 40 years old according to WorldatWork. The report went on to say that the number of telecommuters continues to increase, due to improved home Internet connectivity, increased fuel and commuting cost, and companies embracing improved work-life balance initiatives.

According to the Telework Research Network, if the 41 million Americans who hold jobs that could be done from home chose to do so for at least one day next week, the savings would be $772 million dollars in total, including:

  • Commuter cost savings of $494 million
  • A savings of 2.3 million barrels of oil totaling $185 million
  • Traffic accidents reduced by 775, for a savings of $93 million

Companies can save over $6,500 per employee if that employee telecommutes just one day a week. Citrix Online is saving $2 million dollars in physical space costs by reducing seats in its office by allowing employees to work remotely.

Access Economics estimates that if Australia had a 10 percent increase in the number of people who telecommute for 50 percent of their worktime, the country would gain over $1.4 billion AUD per year ($1.4 billion) with reduced time and costs for travel, lowered office expenses, better employee retention, infrastructure savings, less fuel used and more.

Even the United States government is embracing telecommuting. Employees in the General Services Administration (GSA) are joining up with government agencies, companies and other organizations to pledge to telecommute at least one day next week. According to the GSA, about 50 percent of employees telecommute at least once a week already, which “leads to real estate cost savings and increased productivity, and helps reduce the agency’s environmental impact.” Telework Research Network claims that the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 could result in a $15 billion a year savings for United States taxpayers with agencies saving $850 million in real estate costs and $2.3 billion in absenteeism every year while employees save up to $2700 in transportation and other work expenses and have fewer illnesses.

Whether you work for a small business, a multi-national corporation or a governmental agency, the benefits associated with telecommuting are similar: better balance and quality of life, reduced cost savings for both the employee and employer and a smaller environment footprint.

What are you going to do for Telework Week?

Photo by Bob Cotter used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.

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  1. Although telework is on the increase, it is not everyone. For those who are easily distracted or unmotivated to work without structure or supervision, telework can be a career killer. However, for others, especially when it is essential to maintain a balance of work and childrearing, it is a much needed entity in the workforce.

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  2. Also… If a position is easily “Teleworkable” that means that position is one step closer to being replaced by a lower paid overseas counterpart. Think about it.

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  3. I’ve been telecommuting for two years now and I’d encourage anyone who is able to give it a shot. I know it’s not for everyone (my husband included, he goes stir crazy working from home), but it works for a lot of people, and the personal and global benefits are undeniable. For anyone seeking telecommute-friendly jobs, I’d recommend the site FlexJobs.com, which is where I work. Whether in your current job or in a new one, I hope everyone who is able will give telecommuting a chance!

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