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Telecommute to Save the Planet

Telecommuting, in which a person connects to work via a computer from outside the office, benefits the community and the environment: A telecommuter doesn’t burn fuel to get to work, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions — and pollution from sitting in traffic jams; doesn’t need to invest as much in business clothing, thus reducing the need for textiles and shoe materials (not to mention grooming products!); and can eat lunch at home, thus reducing the demand for fast-food meals.

Telecommuting is attractive for you, the employee, and brings benefits to your employer as well:

  • You may be more productive. Working from home may allow you to concentrate better on your job because you don’t have to deal with workplace distractions, such as people dropping by your desk.

  • You feel trusted by your boss. When you’re allowed to work from home, you get the clear message that your boss trusts you to get the work done no matter where you are. When you feel trusted, there’s often a reciprocal effect in that you want to make sure you continue to deserve that trust, so you make sure that you’re productive.

  • You may get the flexibility to look after anyone at home who needs help during the day, such as older children or elderly parents. Although some telecommuting arrangements require your availability during normal work hours even if you’re at home, others simply need to make sure that your work gets done on time.

  • Companies can cut their overhead because they don’t have to cater to the needs of all employees five days a week. If some of the staff telecommutes several days a week, the business can reduce the number of desks, the sizes of offices, the amount of stationery, and the amount of parking available.

  • Telecommuting gives job opportunities to a greater range of people. If you’re the principal caregiver for children or other relatives, or if you can’t physically travel to work, telecommuting may allow you to become part of the workforce.

Internet-based meeting software that uses video cameras to link everyone can facilitate those essential (or non-essential) business meetings for workers in several locations.

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