Telecommuting Could Save U.S. Over $700 Billion a Year and Much More
Reporters On Assignment: If you need additional details or would like us to do a custom calculation for your region, email kate-at-globalworkplaceanalytics.com. Please let us know what organization you represent and your deadline. Or call us at 760-703-0377 (Pacific Coast time).
We have developed a number of complex models to estimate the bottom line impact of telework and other emerging workplace strategies. The assumptions behind our models have been culled from:
- Our synthesis of over a thousand documents on telework and related topics
- Interviews we’ve conducted with leading U.S. and global employers and their employees, the telework advocates and naysayers, the top researchers, and leaders of successful telework advocacy programs
- Our own work with public and private sector employers
- Venture capitalists who have invested in the remote work model
Our standard and custom Telework Savings Calculators™ have been used by company and community leaders throughout the U.S. and Canada to quantify the extent to which telecommuting can save money, improve work-life balance, increase employee loyalty and turnover, reduce absenteeism, increase productivity, reduce greenhouse gases and petroleum usage, and reduce highway congestion and traffic accidents. Our research has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Washington Post, and dozens of other publications.
So, what could U.S. companies and communities save through widespread telework?
According to the Telework Savings Calculator™, if those employees who held telework-compatible jobs (50% of the workforce) and wanted to work at home (79% of the workforce) did so just half of the time (roughly the national average for those who do), the economic benefit would total over $700 billion a year: Businesses would:
- Save over $500 billion a year in real estate, electricity, absenteeism, and turnover and productivity, that’s more than $11,000 per employee per year.
- Increase national productivity by 5 million man-years or $270 billion worth of work.
- Additionally save on utilities, janitorial services, security, maintenance, paper goods, coffee and water service, leased parking spaces, transit subsidies, ADA compliance, environmental penalties, equipment, furniture, and office supplies.
- Gain back the equivalent of 2-3 weeks worth of free time per year – time they’d have otherwise spent commuting.
- Save between $2,000 and $7,000 in transportation and work-related costs. In addition, some would also be able to cut after-school and eldercare costs. Many would also qualify for home office tax breaks.
- Save $20 billion at the pumps
- Reduce greenhouse gases by 54 million tons – the equivalent of taking almost 10 million cars (the entire New York State workforce) off the road for a year
- Reduce wear and tear on our highways by over 119 billion miles a year saving communities hundreds of millions in highway maintenance.
- Save almost 90,000 people from traffic-related injury or death. Accident-related costs would be reduced by over $10 billion a year.
- Save over 640 million barrels of oil (37% of Persian Gulf imports) valued at over $64 billion
Our proprietary Telework Savings Calculator™ quantifies the existing and potential telework savings for every city, state, county, and region in the country. Our Custom Workplace Savings Model™, which includes over 60 customizable variables, allows us to estimate the return on investment of a variety of workplace strategies – including telework, office hoteling, desk sharing, and workplace flexibility – for public and private sector employers. While that model is only available to our clients, a lite version is available free. Details about the assumptions behind our Telework Savings Calculator and an in depth analysis of telework in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, download our free white papers. You may also be interested in the following web pages:
- An extensive summary of the Pros and Cons of telework
- The Costs and Benefits of Telework
- The Latest Telecommuting Statistics
- A discussion about why it’s so hard to estimate How Many People Telecommute
Telework Offers Something for Everyone:
- Environmentalists applaud telecommuting because it significantly reduces greenhouse gases and energy usage.
- Astute company owners support telecommuting because of the cost savings and increased productivity.
- Work-life experts endorse telecommuting because it addresses the needs of families, parents, and senior caregivers.
- Workforce planners see telecommuting as away to avoid the â€˜brain drain’ effect of retiring boomers.
- Human resource professionals see telecommuting as a way to recruit and retain the best people.
- Employees see telecommuting as a way to save time and money, and improve the quality of their lives.
- Baby Boomers find telecommuting offers a flexible alternative to full retirement.
- Gen Y’ers see telecommuting as a way to work on their own terms.
- Disabled workers, rural residents, and military families find home-based work an answer to their special needs.
- Urban planners realize telecommuting can reduce traffic and revitalize cities.
- Governments see telecommuting as a way to reduce highway wear and tear and alleviate the strain on our crumbling transportation infrastructure.
- Organizations rely on telecommuting to ensure continuity of operations in the event of a disaster or pandemic–all federal workers are required to telecommute to the maximum extent possible for just this reason.