Today, I am uniting with many other Austinites to increase awareness of telecommuting’s benefits. Social Good Summit Austin’s pilot Work From Home (WFH) Day is underway, and our city couldn’t be a more perfect place to support this initiative. The purpose of the event is to demonstrate how ozone levels and carbon emissions due to traffic congestion decrease when a significant number of employees are allowed to work remotely.
Nearly two dozen area businesses, government offices and non-profits have committed to the event; with a notable percentage of their workforce telecommuting today, carbon footprints will decrease throughout the city. Austin, consistently ranked as one of the best U.S. cities in which to live and work, is a hub for entrepreneurs, flexible work environments and progressive thinking. By embracing telecommuting and supporting Social Good Summit Austin’s WFH Day, efforts by PGi, AMD, Rackspace, GSD&M, St. Edwards University and many other businesses will have a positive effect on our environment.
As Sean O’Brien, EVP, Strategy and Communications notes, “Remote working not only benefits the environment, but also greatly improves the work-life balance and productivity levels of employees who would otherwise commute for business. Advancements in online meeting tools make it possible for businesses to stay efficient and connected, regardless of where their employees work.” This observation is underscored by a recent report from Forrester showing how advanced collaboration and communication technologies are empowering workers to reach one another in real-time, asynchronously, in the context of business processes. As these technologies grow and are integrated within our professional environments, telework will one day simply become “work.”
Working from home brings numerous benefits to employee and employer alike. In addition to the advantages realized by businesses communities, the environment stands to gain significantly. The following statistics compiled by Commute Zero demonstrate the alarming impact gasoline powered vehicles have on our air quality:
- An average gasoline powered vehicle emits around 423.2 grams of CO2 per mile (8887 grams of CO2 per gallon/average vehicle fuel economy of about 21 miles per gallon)
- An average gasoline vehicle is driven approximately 12,000 miles per year (daily miles driven per vehicle: 32.9)
- As much as 850 million gallons of fuel could be saved annually if all those who could telework did so at least one day a week, and average savings per full-time teleworking employee is $10,000 annually (office space).
After telecommuting 2-3 days per week for 18 months, I can attest to numerous improvements in my work-life balance: I feel more creative, I have enjoyed increased productivity and decreased burnout, I exercise more and stress less, I have time for guitar lessons, and my gasoline bills have been slashed from $200 a month to $80.
Air quality and traffic test results of the pilot day will be presented at a Social Good Summit Austin event during SXSW on 10 March 2013 at City Hall and shared with the community at-large on the Social Good Summit website.
For more information, please read the full press release and join us in supporting Social Good Summit Austin’s Work From Home Day wherever you are.
Are you working from home today? Are casual Fridays now becoming Virtual Fridays?