Here at EarthShare headquarters in Metro-Washington, DC, we talk a lot about traffic. According to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, the Washington metropolitan region has the worst traffic congestion in the country.
But we’re not alone: nationwide, traffic congestion causes drivers to waste more than 3 billion gallons of fuel and keeps travelers stuck in their cars for nearly 7 billion extra hours. Traffic has a whopping price tag too: $160 billion per year!
Compact, mixed-use urban design and public transit would solve much of the problem, but we can even take action right here, right now: through telecommuting.
If all of the 41 million Americans with telework-compatible jobs worked at home just one day each week, we would save:
And the benefits for employers are staggering, too. Businesses that let 100 employees work half of their time from home can save more than $1 million a year, not to mention the significant savings accumulated from lower electricity, real estate, maintenance and supply costs.
AT&T, for instance, enables workers to telecommute via remote access technologies at least one day each week. GreenBiz surveyed participating AT&T employees and found they avoided driving 175 million miles and saved 8.7 million gallons of gas. A majority also reported an increase in productivity, job satisfaction, and overall work/life balance.
So how can you get started in the telecommuting revolution? Here are some tips to get you started. And if you already telecommute, tell us about it in the comments section below!
Apply to a company that already has a strong telecommuting culture. Forbes keeps a running list of the top companies and FlexJobs has a database of open telecommuting positions.
Make the case to your employer. Not all employers realize how beneficial telecommuting can be. Schedule a meeting with your boss and go over some of these statistics from Global Workplace Analytics.
Join the 1 Million for Work Flexibility campaign and add your voice to the chorus of people calling for the 21st century workplace.
Let technology work for you. From video conferencing and cloud computing, to productivity apps and coworking spaces, who needs a traditional office?