Going Green by Telecommuting

by Danielle Bloom

2 min read

The Government of Canada’s campaign to promote corporate social responsibility encourages companies to operate in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable manner. Implementation of a policy allowing for telecommuting by employees helps to advance such an effort. It also allows businesses to benefit from the pool of skilled professionals’ seeking balance in their lives by controlling the extent to which their work can overshadow life’s other obligations.

Employees Love Corporate Social Responsibility

Canada’s Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development emphasizes that when a business implements an effective Corporate Social Responsibility program, it can significantly impact employee motivation and staff retention. In its CSR Toolkit, the ISED explains that wellness, work-life balance and flex-time policies are important CSR considerations for businesses. The ISED advises that programs enabling employees to work remotely demonstrate a business’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. Beyond that, when a company is in the process of establishing marketplace trust and reputation it should embed its CSR values throughout the business. A business can nest CSR in the company’s employee brand, making it part of the value proposition for working at the firm.

How Remote Work Opportunities Reduce Your Environmental Footprint

Offering employees the option to work remotely can reduce the environmental footprint of your business from clodhopper to Capezio. Lowering the number of on-site employees reduces the need for additional office space. Less office space reduces energy consumption for lighting, heating and air conditioning. A reduction in the number of in-office employees reduces the amount of trash produced within the workplace. Global Workplace Analytics reports that home office equipment consumes energy at half the rate of business-based office equipment. Working remotely with online accounting applications eliminates the need for employees to travel to the office when preparing and submitting reports, invoices or expense accounts.

Other Environmental Benefits from Telecommuting

Telecommuters do not need to drive or use public transportation to get to work. As a result, there is a reduction of pollutants from vehicle exhaust. Increasing the number of telecommuters brings a reduction in traffic jams. Global Workplace Analytics reports that idling cars in traffic jams waste nearly three billion gallons of gas per year, bringing an additional 26 million tons of greenhouse gases. Each 1 percent reduction in the number of vehicles on the road brings a threefold decrease in traffic congestion. Reduced traffic results in less stress on the deteriorating traffic infrastructure.

Reduced Expenses from Reduced Waste

Telecommuting reduces both environmental and financial waste. Global Workplace Analytics reports average real estate savings through the use of full-time telework at $10,000 per employee each year. The same report states that telecommuters are between 20 and 45 percent more productive than their workplace counterparts. Nearly 60 percent of employers identify cost savings as an important benefit from telecommuting programs. Remote work reduces the number of wasted meetings. Approximately 46 percent of businesses that use telework programs report reduced employee attrition.

References & Resources

Related Articles

How to Start an HVAC Business in Canada

Staying warm during cold Canadian winters and cool during sizzling hot summer…

Read more

A Complete Guide to Saving Money by Going Green

Eco-friendly small business practices are great for the environment and your budget.…

Read more

Powering Small Business Prosperity in the “Global Village”

In 1962, Marshall McLuhan predicted the emergence of a “global village” brought…

Read more