Many of us like the idea of working from home. I have my own freelancing business, so working from home comes with the territory. However, you don’t have to be self-employed in order to work from home. An increasing number of companies are allowing workers to telecommute — at least some of the time. So, even if you work for someone else, there is a chance that you can telecommute between one and three days a week, even if you have to go in to the office sometimes.
Telecommuting isn’t just about working in your pajamas some days (although that is one of the things I enjoy about working from home). It can also save you money, and help the environment.
How Telecommuting Saves You Money
Working from your home office can save you money in a number of ways. One of the biggest savings comes from the commute, however. Instead of paying fuel costs, or public transport fare, you just walk into your home office. This is a great way to save money on the costs of commuting. Depending on how often you are allowed to telecommute, the savings could really start to add up. But there are other ways to save while telecommuting:
- Temptation to buy lunch is reduced; you can just make your own with items you have on hand at home.
- You need fewer professional outfits, since you aren’t going in as often. Your clothing budget can be stretched as you wear fewer clothes, and the clothes you do wear last longer (not as much laundering).
- Some of the items you buy for your home office are tax deductible.
It’s also possible that telecommuting could make you more productive. This means that you get more done for your time, using it more efficiently. This can be a selling point if you are looking for a raise or a promotion.
Even your employer can benefit. Overhead costs related to the power you use, as well as the space you require, are reduced when you telecommute. If you telecommute four or five days a week, the potential savings for employers goes up, since they can require you to use your own computer, and there is no need to buy office equipment for you. On top of that, recent studies indicate that telecommuters are happier overall, resulting in more job satisfaction and less turnover.
Help the Environment by Telecommuting
So, how does telecommuting help the environment? It’s all about the transportation. If you aren’t driving in to work, you aren’t contributing to pollution. And that’s a good thing. This is especially true since it’s hard to choose your travel time wisely when you have to go in to work at the same time as everyone else. You end up idling in traffic, sending more environment-harming pollutants into the air — not to mention spending more money on gas.
Many jobs today are compatible with the idea of telecommuting at least one or two days a week. In some cases, you might be able to work almost exclusively from home. If you want to telecommute, bring it up with your boss. There are advantages to the bottom line, as well as to the environment.
What are your experiences telecommuting?