Telecommuting Could Save Small to Mid-Sized U.S. Businesses $124B

by | Jul 14, 2010

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Small to mid-sized businesses in the U.S. could save $124 billion in real estate, electricity and related costs by implementing a telecommuting strategy, according to a white paper and new ebook on telecommuting.

The TeleResearchNetwork ebook, “Workshifting: Bottom Line Benefits,” sponsored by Citrix, quantifies the benefits of telecommuting on small to mid-sized businesses, individuals and nations.

The report finds that less than two percent of U.S. employees work from home the majority of the time (not including the self-employed), but 40 percent have jobs that are compatible with telework.

A key finding shows that if employees who wanted to telecommute (about 80 percent) did so only half of the time, businesses could save $124 billion in real estate, electricity, and related costs as well as increase productivity by more than $235 billion. Other benefits include improving work life balance and better addressing the needs of disabled workers.

A CEA commissioned study in 2008 found one day of telecommuting saves the equivalent of up to 12 hours of an average household’s electricity use, while an earlier study showed that U.S. telecommuters save 840 million gallons of gas per year.

The report also looks at the savings for the nation if businesses implement or increase their telecommuting policies. The U.S. could save 289 million barrels of oil, reduce greenhouse gases by 53 million tons/year, and cut road travel by 115 billion miles/year. Other savings include a reduction in pollution from road work and new office construction and preservation of open space.

The report estimates the total economic impact of nearly $650 billion annually. Click here for the company’s Telework Model 2010, a calculator to help businesses quantify the potential savings of home-based work.

Meanwhile, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would guarantee federal employees the right to telecommute 20 hours every two work weeks. The Senate has already passed a similar bill.

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