How Remote Work Can Help You Be a Better Citizen

How Remote Work Can Help You Be a Better Citizen

Telecommuting has been found to increase happiness and decrease stress, which alone are great reasons to support flexible arrangements. But remote work also has benefits beyond personal satisfaction. Here’s a look at how telecommuting contributes to the greater good and can help you be a better citizen.

How remote work can help you be a better citizen:

It’s better for the planet.

According to Global Workplace Analytics, if workers in the U.S. who held telework-compatible jobs (50 percent) and wanted to (79 percent) worked from home just two days a week, the U.S. as a whole would save nearly 52 million gallons of gas (the greenhouse gas equivalent of taking approximately 88,000 vehicles off the road per year), save over 2.6 million barrels of oil (valued at over $264 million), and reduce wear and tear on highways by over 1 billion miles a year.

Because they tend to dress casually, telecommuters dry clean less, which helps reduce the use of the harmful chemical perchloroethylene and plastic garment bags. Greater control over their surroundings also leads many remote workers to favor sunlight over lamps and run a space heater/room fan rather than adjust the temperature of the whole building.

It frees up time to make a difference.

The average worker clocks 26 minutes each way to travel to and from work, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s nearly an hour a day spent commuting! How might this time be spent on something more rewarding than sitting in traffic?

Kate Sullivan, who works for fully remote TCK Publishing, uses her time and flexible schedule to help the fading Vermont mill town she resides in with its movement to reinvent itself as a place that supports entrepreneurship. “I’m able to do things like volunteer to set up at speaking events, help coordinate community outreach, and otherwise give back, teaching others how to navigate nontraditional career paths.”

Deliver Meals on Wheels? Donate blood? Lead a Boy Scout troop? The possibilities to replace commuting are endless.

It can help develop a global perspective.

Experiencing other cultures encourages tolerance and understanding. Digital nomads and others who can do their job from virtually any location gain valuable first-hand knowledge from traveling.

Marko Obrovac, a senior services engineer at Wikimedia Foundation, is in his tenth month of participating in Remote Year, a program for professionals to explore the world while still performing their current job. Of his time abroad, Obrovac notes, “I have helped local people in a multitude of ways, from lending them my hands and feet to do manual labor to giving them intellectual advice and services. Each and every one of these experiences was a true, unfiltered exchange: locals saw progress in their work and received a different perspective on their problems, while I got a glimpse into the local culture that allowed me to truly understand their joy and fears.”

It allows greater participation.

Life doesn’t always fit into a neat 9-to-5 package. While telecommuters certainly must be conscientious about productivity and deadlines, they oftentimes have the ability to alter their schedule so long as goals get accomplished.

This flexibility may allow them to chaperone a school field trip, aid fellow parents with carpool, or drive an elderly neighbor to the doctor. Being able to do such things feels good and helps other lives run smoother, making it a win-win for both telecommuters and society!

Ready to find a remote job and be a better citizen? Check out these available remote jobs.

By Beth Braccio Hering | Categories: Work Remotely

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