Remote Work Benefits: Monetary AND Environmental
What can you do with an extra $2,600? Book that long-awaited vacation? Surprise a special someone with an unexpected gift? Or perhaps add to your savings or make a dent in your student loans? I’m betting that you could find some use for it. (Honestly, who couldn’t? Even “The Donald” would likely put forth the effort to at least sign that check.)
Here’s the kicker: if your job can be done remotely, you could be hanging onto that money.
On average, workers spend $2,600 per year on their commutes. Whether that’s in the form of bus passes, parking, or fill-ups at the fuel pump, it all adds up. (I won’t pain you by emphasizing the amount of time we spend commuting, but that time is priceless!)
Remote work makes sense from a cost savings perspective for employees—that much is clear. But what are the remote work benefits for companies?
The Monetary and Environmental Remote Work Benefits for Companies
Aside from decreased fixed costs, there are a host of other remote work benefits for employers. One worth mentioning is that companies can choose to build all-star teams without location restrictions or high cost-of-living salary constraints.
All of these have a tangible impact on the environment, and in many cases, on their bottom line. But there’s another benefit that we shouldn’t leave out: the benefit of being viewed as a conscientious company.
You can’t earn that kind of reputation without walking the walk, of course. And I’m not only referring to the traditional office that recycles just about everything, but the one that really has some skin in the game.
Financial and Environmental Investments: Long-Term Returns
Think about this: would you accord more respect to a “green” company with, say, LEED-certified buildings, more than others that don’t? What about the type of firm that purchases carbon offsets to reduce impact from executive travel? Or maybe you’d hold in higher esteem the company that partners with leading environmental organizations on conservation initiatives.
If their actions align with your principles, you just might choose them over a competitor. As a result, their market share grows, and eventually, their profits increase.
What about bigger companies, with hundreds of thousands of employees, many of whom are able to work from home? What impact would that have on the environment—and what does that kind of action say about a company’s values and priorities?
Companies Going Green with Remote Work
For example, 40 percent of tech giant IBM’s workforce sets up shop each day in their home offices, in coworking spaces, or at a client’s site. The company began moving toward remote work in 1995, and had saved roughly $100 million annually, or $1.4 billion, as of 2009. (You read that right: billion.)
That might not be a number that makes shareholders downright giddy, but it’s certainly a figure that carries a lot of weight in other respects. After all, that money saved can be reinvested in the company—in infrastructure, technology, R&D, donated via sponsorships to worthy causes, or distributed among the company’s most critical asset of all—its human resources.
That’s a lot of good stuff, and there’s still a lot of potential for growth.
Although remote work is most certainly on the rise, it’s still less common for Americans to work from home than from a typical office setting. Yet for many knowledge workers, there’s an expectation that employees will be accessible (if not available to work) outside of the traditional 9-to-5 window. It’s why 75 percent of employers give mobile tools to their teams, so that they can get work done anywhere.
The supportive technology and infrastructures exist; the question is a matter of organizational priorities. Will your company utilize environmental remote work benefits to turn green into gold?
By Kristi DePaul | June 5, 2016 | Categories: Why Go Remote