Telecommuting – Working from home

One of the simplest way companies can green their workforce is by allowing personnel to work from home. Let’s analyse it from a Green IT perspective.

Avoiding commute to work at least some days during the week has some advantages for the employees and the company:
  • Less cars on the street: this is simple, if your employees are not using their cars to commute from home to the office it’ going to be a reduction of cars on the street. Even if the personel does not use their own car but public service transportation it’ going to be better for the community.
  • Commute time saving: without needing to commute everyday employees now have more time to do personal activities they love improving their lives and the relationship with the company.
  • Savings for the company: less people at the workplace will end reducing operative costs of the company. An easy list of the benefits is less energy consumed for the heating/air conditioning system, less powered on computers. Not related to Green IT are cleaning the facilities, less coffee consumed an so on.
How Green is telecommuting is not that clear upfront. The reduction of energy consumption for the company might not be enough because employees still consuming energy at home in order to work remotely. In fact energy consumption will be more in some cases considering that the remote user will use their computer at home and access a powered on computer on the corporate network.
What is clear is that reducing the amount of cars on the streets moving employees back and forth will produce a CO2 emission reduction.

The idea of telecommuting has been around for a few years now since Internet simplified remote access to corporate networks. IT departments has been working to improve secure Te remote access services with some successes and some failures depending on how you look at it.