Telecommuting “Good or Bad ” The great debate!

With the recent stance by the CEO of Google, The Teleworker issue has gotten lots of heated points of view
Here’s part of a blog written by Margaret Sothern of the Green Science Blog we found interesting: link to Nature Conservancy for more:

If you regularly drive to work, telecommuting can save thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere and save you a bundle of money to boot.

If someone who lives just 10 miles from their office and has free parking were to work from home just one day a week, she could save about $265 and 0.3 tons of carbon a year.

Think those are some pretty good reasons to give it a try? I do too, so I’ve asked for some advice from those who telecommute on a regular basis.

On convincing your boss:

The first step in making telecommuting a reality is to make sure your employer is OK with it. And unless your company has a telework program, that may mean doing some convincing.

According to Quint Careers, one key strategy is to focus on the benefits telecommuting will have for your employer, not for you. You may love that telecommuting will allow you to be there when your kids get home from school, but focus on how it would be better for them: that you’d be more productive, spend more time on projects, etc.

On creating a workspace:

Designating a workspace is essential, according to Katie Kemple, communications manager for EconomyStory.org.

On blending home and work life:

For Chrissy Schwinn, the Conservancy’s director of international policy and climate communications, telecommuting out of her house in Berkeley, Calif., isn’t much of a choice – the office she reports into is 3,000 miles away.

Having been a telecommuter for the last five years and working with two small kids in the house, she knows that telecommuting “blends home and work life in odd and sometimes entertaining/mortifying ways.”

Her advice? “Learning to live in this fuzzy area between work and home life is crucial to succeeding as a telecommuter.”

On other benefits:

Misty Herrin, associate director of strategic communications at the Conservancy and a longtime telecommuter, has a laundry list of other benefits of working from home:

• Eating better and saving money by eating at home;

• Spending a lot less money on work attire and having it last longer;

• Being able to gain momentum on big projects by ignoring the phone and e-mail;

• No water cooler gossip!

• Fewer days out sick; it’s a lot easier to brave a work day when you don’t have to deal with a commute or risk spreading germs to others.

Not just for your daily routine:

Telecommuting can also be a huge money, time and carbon saver when it comes to conferences. Many organizations are using video conferencing technology in lieu of having people fly to one central location.

— Text by Margaret Southern, Cool Green Science Blog

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