Telecommuting Touted for Carbon Reduction

by | Jul 27, 2009

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telework2As companies look for ways to cut costs, reduce carbon footprint and keep employees happy in a down economy, they increasingly are turning to telecommuting.

Cisco has developed a virtual office platform, which its own employees are using. The program is generating $277 million in savings annually, reports Network World.

In another example, BT Global Services is a network provider and IT services company that makes its business based on the knowledge of its staff. The company instituted a “Work Anywhere” policy that allows for flexible working hours, and offers the employees the ability to work from home or another location of their choosing, reports Carbon Offset Daily.

BT Global Services has identified the following benefits from its policy:

  • a 58 percent reduction in carbon emissions, due to 1.5 million journeys eliminated annually
  • reduction in fuel costs and travel as a result of the policy
  • a 20 percent improvement in productivity from home working compared to office-based workers
  • reduced absenteeism
  • greater staff retention – especially among women returning from maternity leave
  • recruitment benefits for workers attracted by flexible working policies
  • reduction in office property costs
  • more flexibility to hire home-based employees to work split-shifts, i.e., to work several hours in the morning and several hours in the evening.

The company hopes to get more contract work in the public sector, which in the UK is trying to add efficiencies and reduce office costs, according to the article.

In the U.S., the state of Virginia is trying to start a national trend with Telework Day. On Aug. 3, employers are urged to let employees work from home or another remote location, reports PC World.

The initiative is touted as a way to save fuel, ease the strain of the transportation infrastructure and increase efficiences.

Telework Day is a joint project by Telework!VA and Virginia government officials, and it builds off of Virginia governor’s June directive to slash energy consumption and boost efficiencies at branch agencies and institutions. The government is encouraging private empoyers to join in the effort.

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