Could Telecommuting Help You Save Energy?

We have written several times before about clever ways to save energy around your home. One non-conventional method of doing this is one that you may not have considered:  telecommuting to work.

In a nutshell, telecommuting means working with a broadband Internet connection from a remote location that is not your office—this could be your home, a coffee shop, or even a library.

Telecommuting is often done out of necessity, while an employee is sick or is far from the office. However, there are also some that telecommute to work full-time, or nearly full-time. And these days, more employers are offering it as a potential scheduling option.

Regardless of whether you telecommute full-time or part-time, doing so can save you a lot of money and energy, as well as providing many other intangible benefits.

Each year, 5.2 million telecommuters in the US save approximately 10 million barrels of oil because they don’t need to commute an average round-trip of 35 miles to work each day. Transportation costs account for a surprising amount of the average American’s yearly budget.

In fact, according to a study by the US Energy Information Administration, the average American spent 4% of their annual pre-tax budget on fuel in 2012—that’s roughly $2,900 per person. With this much money on the line, telecommuting could result in huge energy savings for you and your family.

Telecommuting also has several other benefits, both monetary and intangible. By driving less, you will likely save on annual car maintenance. Through avoiding eating out and buying overpriced coffee during your lunch break, you can save money on food costs.

Additionally, you can gain valuable time that would have otherwise been spent commuting to and from work. The end result of all of this: increased job satisfaction and an improved work-life balance, which can have untold benefits on your entire life.

Lastly, as briefly mentioned above, telecommuting doesn’t have to be done on a full-time basis. Telecommuting might not make sense for your line of work, or might not be available full time at your company. However, you will notice benefits even if you are able to supplement your schedule with small periods of telecommuting.

Is telecommuting an option that your employer offers or that you would consider?