During the pilot, held on February 8, more than 2,500 staff from the company’s Slough, England, headquarters worked remotely for the day, leaving most of the the 200,000-square-foot office building shuttered and the majority of its lights off. Just 125 staff that O2 describes as “mission critical” worked from the building that day.
As a result of the closure, O2’s electricity consumption decreased by 12 percent on February 8th, and its water use dropped 53 percent, the company says. The drop in commuting not only saved CO2, but also saved employees 2,000 hours of travel time, O2 says. Only 109 cars entered the parking lot on the day, compared to 1,100 on an average day.
However, gas usage in the building increased slightly. O2 attributes this to the loss of body heat in the building.
Some 88 percent of people that took part in the flexible working pilot thought that they were at least as productive as normal. Over a third claimed to have been more productive.
Teleworking has long been touted as way to reduce carbon emissions. Cisco used a virtual office platform as early as 2008. At that time, the program was generating $277 million in annual savings.
In May, Verizon announced that fewer than 200 of its employees saved more than 18,000 gallons of fuel through teleworking in just six months.