Telework Week Offers Millions in Savings
by Kate Lister
Save Money and the Planet: Work at Home During Telework Week (February 14-18, 2011)
One day participation could save U.S. over three-quarters of a billion dollars
San Diego CA (USA), February 8, 2011 – According to the Telework Research Network, if the 41 million Americans with telework-compatible jobs worked from home just one day during National Telework Week (February 14-18), U.S. savings would total $772 million including:
- $494 million in commuter costs
- $185 million from 2.3 million barrels of oil saved
- $93 million from 775 fewer traffic accidents
Plus the environment would be spared 423,000 tons of greenhouse gas – the equivalent of taking 77,000 cars off the road for a year.
Inspired by the success of Telework Day, decreed by then Virginia Governor Tim Kaine in 2009, advocacy organizations throughout the country have joined the effort to raise awareness of the environmental, economic, and societal benefits of telework. Over 14,000 have already pledged to participate.
“The savings above are just the tip of the iceberg,â€ says Kate Lister, principal researcher of the Telework Research Network an organization that specializes in evaluating the financial impact of workplace flexibility. â€œIf you add the many employer, employee and community benefits, once-weekly telework could save the nation $350 billion a year and potentially eliminate our oil imports from both Libya and Kuwait.”
For companies, those benefits include increased productivity, reduced office space, and lower turnover and absenteeism. The Telework Research Network’s free web-based Telework Savings Calculator™, shows that companies could save over $6,500 per once-a-week teleworker. “We’ve built a conservative model,” says Tom Harnish, senior scientist at the Telework Research Network. â€œThe assumptions are based on a synthesis of hundreds of studies and real life examples. They recognize that not everyone wants to or can work from home, that not all driving is eliminated, that home offices use energy too, and that occasional telework offers only minimal office space savings.”
But even part-time telecommuting can make a big difference explains Citrix Online president Brett Caine, â€œWe put a global remote work or â€˜workshifting’ policy in place several years ago. Workshifting is a term we coined that means to conduct work wherever optimal. This has afforded us the opportunity to recruit and retain key talent globally as well as increase our capacity without growing facilities and the costs associated with that. For instance, although we’re significantly expanding our workforce, our new campus will have 10% fewer seats. By allowing just 10% of our team to workshift, we can avoid more than $2 million in facility-related costs.â€ To show its commitment to transforming the way people work, the company has given all eligible employees the option to workshift during Telework Week.
The Telework Research Network is a consulting and research organization that specializes in evaluating the bottom line impact of workplace flexibility. Hundreds of company and community leaders throughout the U.S. and Canada have used the Telework Savings Calculator™ to quantify the bottom line impact of telework. Kate Lister and Tom Harnish are co-authors of the popular press title, Undress For Success – The Truth About Making Money at Home (Wiley, March 2009), a book that’s been praised by environmental, worklife, and telework experts.
Editor Note: Regional impacts are available on request.
Relevant White Papers:
Workshifting Benefits: The Bottom Line
– sponsored by Citrix Online (GoToMeeting, GoToMyPC, etc.) this 23 page paper examines the bottom line benefits of telework for individuals, communities, companies of various sizes, and the U.S. as a whole.