If a person is going green by setting out to make the world a cleaner, greener place through everyday tasks, the first items to come to mind might be activities like recycling, planting trees, buying used items or driving a hybrid car.
How about not driving at all – at least, when possible?
For Pete Moss, a Northrop Grumman accounting coordinator, that method has paid big dividends in time and money saved while reducing his impact on the environment.
Moss describes how an innovative management program helped him start a going green solution that could work for many others.
“During a department meeting two years ago, we developed a system of work-at-home awards based on cash forecasting accuracy, and through that I started telecommuting once a week, avoiding the 80-minute round-trip commute.
This award system has been greatly received but I wanted to see if it could be expanded. In today’s highly mobile society, one of the most sought-after benefits that today’s job applicants look for is a workplace that’s more adaptable to the needs of our ever-busy lifestyles.
While I know the ability to work from home is not possible for everyone, I want to use my case as an example of how doing it once a week can achieve positive financial, environmental, retention and engagement benefits.”
Here’s how the good news stacked up for Moss and the environment during the course of a year by telecommuting once a week:
- 4,587 miles not driven
- $437.85 saved through 208.5 fewer gallons of gas purchased at $2.10/gallon
- 83 hours commuting time saved
- About $100 for routine maintenance saved
- About two tons less carbon dioxide dumped into the atmosphere, as well as less carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrous oxides and particulates that come from burning gas
If 10,000 employees with similar commutes telecommuted once a week, it would translate to about 40 million pounds less CO2 in the atmosphere per year – not to mention some easing of the gridlock on our freeways. And then there are the intangible benefits, such as less stress in dealing with that gridlock. It truly affects quality of life.
Many people struggle to strike the right work/life balance. Finding an adaptable employer that offers some flexibility in working arrangements is a top-criteria item to many job seekers. So if a company is seen as that kind of employer, all the better. According to ApplicantPro.com, Dell, a computer industry leader, is aiming to have 50 percent of its global workforce on flexible schedules by 2020.
And if more employees start telecommuting, at least occasionally, the benefits can extend beyond these factors to the bottom line. Companies across the nation could save thousands in building rental space alone, plus all the overhead that goes with them. Encouraging more and more employees to work flexible schedules has saved Dell $21 million since 2013 in real estate costs alone.
Lower expenses mean companies can lower their rates, beat the competition and gain market share.
Now you’ve got the attention of the accountants and the C-suite. Not too bad for creating a commute that goes just down the hall.