When it comes to employment, there is not greener way to work than telework. Meeting the demands of the workplace while in the comfort of your own home is a very attractive idea for many workers. Although not all employers are open to the concept, telework yields benefits for employers, employees, and the environment.
For employers, teleworking has been shown to:
- increase employee retention
- decrease absenteeism
- improve productivity
Also, employees that telework are able to:
- avoid inclement weather
- avoid traffic congestion
- improve work/life balance
For the environment it produces:
- less traffic congestion
- less noise pollution
- less air pollution
Technological advances have made it surprisingly easy for employees to telework. It has also become less challenging for employers to monitor a teleworkers’ productivity. With the number of terrorist threats and shooting incident seemingly increasing everyday, telework could also be a safer way to work.
In 2010, the president signed the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 which suggests that it is becoming a more accepted work schedule. There are also a variety of organizations dedicated to telework, and there are also tax credits available to business that allow employees to telework.
Despite these facts, most employers are not open to the idea of their employees working from home. Perhaps due to the belief that employees will spend less time working and more time lounging. However, with traffic congestion as a daily part of a commuters work day, employees may arrive at their places of employment having spent so much mental energy in traffic that they their workplace performance is impacted.
Understandably, a telework schedule is not ideal for everyone. Certain jobs require workers to be in the workplace. Also, many employees enjoy the social aspect of working in an office with others. But for those workers who spend over an hour in traffic, teleworking, for even one day a week, could be a huge relief.
Going green is not always equivalent to engaging in some form of self sacrifice. Sometimes going green is as simple as calling your boss and saying, “I’ll be working from home today” then taking those hours that would have been spent commuting to work and using them to get more sleep. If you believe your position could be eligible for telework, discuss it with your employer. Advocate for yourself. It could be the best decision that you’ve ever made for yourself and the environment.