If you are considering working from home, you’re probably already aware of the obvious benefits that come with it. From the mere fact that you no longer need to take a trip from your home to your office daily, you are saving on transportation cost, be it on gasoline if you drive, or fare if you are commuting. It also gives you extra time throughout your day, that you can devote to family, learning a new skill or catching up on a book you’ve always wanted to read.
But here’s another reason that you might not know about or didn’t anticipate – you’re actually helping to enrich the environment. Remote workers may not have any direct involvement or connection to any environmental group or movement, but in essence, they embody the very concept of Going Green.
Driving pollutes and yet it is the most common way for workers to get to their workplace. A recent study suggests commuting daily is responsible for more than 98% of an employee’s work-related carbon footprint. And according to another study, 40% of jobs in the US could actually be done remotely. Imagine the huge impact it would make to the environment if all those people actually did work from home. Estimates say this would reduce CO² by 101 million metric tons and save around $52 billion in gas costs.
Now imagine if that 40% didn’t need to eat out every day? That’s 50 million people reducing the need for restaurants to give out plastic bags or styrofoam cups. Paper consumption is likewise minimized. If you’ve ever worked in a traditional office, with its seemingly endless supply of paper, you might have seen people casually printing away any document they type or receive via email. If you’re working from home, without the unlimited supply at your fingertips, chances are, you’ll think twice before printing, and if you did, you’d probably be recycling the papers you’re printing on.
During the recently concluded Olympics, local governments call to have 1.5 million people work from home caused significant drops in the business of London shops and restaurants. While it was detrimental to the local economy, it was able to prove a key point – that the traditional concept of what an “office” should be has been turned on its head in the wake of the internet.
If you’re eager to become more than just an accidental environmentalist, then you should take extra steps to ensure that your remote working environment is consistently green. Consider the components in your home, your desk, your chair, your lighting, the computer and printer, the paper. Make it a point to read up on the materials that were used in the making of your furniture, or that your lights are fluorescents instead of incandescents. Because the home is your office, you become the key decision maker in ensuring that it is eco-friendly.
In 2004, together with my college friend Rob Rawson, we came up with an Internet Marketing training product called “Online Marketing College” and sold it to 200 people in 6 months.
In November 2007, I started my company Remote Staff and in just a year the contracted staff grow close to 100 people. Remote Staff also became the largest provider of home-based career in the Philippines.
Right now, I'm happily married to a beautiful and intelligent Filipina with one kid. I still manage my company directly and remotely.