With both employers and employees looking to cut expenses, now might be the right time to ask your boss if you can work from home. Besides cutting down on costs like fuel and energy expenditures, if handled properly teleworking can lead to a fuller life and more productive company.
First make sure you have the right kind of job for teleworking. If you spend most of your time dealing with people, you probably need to be in the office. But not everyone needs to be in on site. The United States government has already implemented a teleworking program (telework.gov) and a study by Telework Exchange and the Tanberg Foundation in February of this year found that while 20% of federal employees telecommuted, 96% were actually eligible to do so.
Here’s why you, and your employer, should consider the switch.
No matter how far your home office is from your bedroom, it's got to be shorter than your current commute to the office. According to a study by Payscale.com, New York City has the highest commute time in the country with residents commuting an average of 43.23 minutes per day. That adds up to over 172 hours a year, or more than seven full days spent just getting to and from the office.The Telework Exchange study found that if each federal employee telecommuted just three days a week, they would save an average of $6,000 a year in gas bills. And to offset the carbon emissions created by commuting federal employees, the government would have to plant 32 million trees. That's a lot of gas and lot of green.
Quality of Life
When you're at home, you have the ability to adapt your schedule to different personal needs. Instead of getting coffee in the break room at work, you can take the dog for a short walk. Or if you're planning on playing tennis at 3pm with a friend, form your day’s schedule around that event, without having to deal with odd looks as you grab your tennis racket and bolt out the office door. This can also improve family relations by having a parent around when the kids come home from school.