There is a conversation going on across the intertubes today about the many reasons why telecommuting can help reduce costs to employees as well as reduce emissions across the board.
Charlie pointed me to an article this morning on Treehugger, “Calculating How Telecommuters Make a Difference.” The folks at Treehugger point telecommuters and their employers to a new tool developed by SonicWALL designed to help folks realize the impact they can make by kicking their commute goodbye.
This is a wonderful step. For a long time now we have only been able to rely on our instincts about why it is a resource conservation step to telecommute. We have the same issue when talking about potential savings for coworking spaces – it is often difficult for us to point to specific savings that members of a coworking space can refer to in order to convince their employers or their colleagues that coworking is the real deal. Well, thanks to SonicWALL, we may be on our way to being able to get some true data on what the financial and environmental value of telecommuting. Their calculator gives employers a way to measure the impact of telecommuting on the planet as well as the cost savings to employees by telecommuting. The tool lets you customize your data depending on how far you’re traveling, how many days you telecommute, as well as fuel costs and fuel efficiencies of the vehicle you’re using. Pretty simple, and an easy way to realize the benefits.
I’d ask, could employers then support their employees to work out of a coworking space so they could still have the benefit of a productive, energetic workspace while avoiding the nasty commute? Seems like a logical fit to me. In fact, we’ve talked about the benefits of coworking to the commuting world before. A couple of times. If employers want to ensure that they’re not losing productivity from employees, they could realize some serious financial benefits by encouraging telecommuting from a coworking space. They could reduce their overhead costs of running a larger office, as well as allow their employees to have the benefit of not only saving their money, but saving them valuable commute time.
What do you think?
[Thanks to Flickr user blair25 for the great calculator shot, made available by the Creative Commons license!]