A recent survey indicated that workers living in the United States tend to be more conscious of the environment when they are at home rather than when they are in the office. Approximately 500 individuals responded, and the results were surprising. In part, workers noted that there were several actions they engaged in at home that they simply didn’t worry about when they work in the office. Interestingly, it also indicated that telecommuters go green more frequently than office workers.
At home, 74 percent of the individuals polled said they take care to flip off the lights when they leave a room. Those same individuals mentioned that they do not think to take that action when at work. Similarly, 60 percent make lunch when at home and 50 percent make sure to turn off their computers at the end of the work day. Telecommuters also tend to stay away from bottled water, recycle more, and print less paper than when they are in the office. Finally, 56 percent of those surveyed said they make sure to turn down the heat in the winter and move the thermostat up in the summer when in their home office.
The conclusion that workers are more environmentally focused at home holds particularly true for women. For example, more than 60 percent of female workers turned down the heat at home, compared to just under 50 percent of their male counterparts. In addition, women were also more likely to recycle, turn off their computers, and use the printer more sparingly, among other things.
Working from home does not just affect daily rituals and habits. Workers also tend to use less of the Earth’s resources as well. A startling 97 percent of those surveyed said they do not use as many resources when telecommunicating. Both gas and printer paper topped the list, although things like electricity, pencils and shower water were also mentioned. In addition, respondents noted that their bosses generally consider the environment when making a decision about whether telecommuting is an option or not.
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, telecommuters also indicated that they save a lot of money when they are allowed to work from home. Daily savings ranged greatly, but nearly 40 percent of those surveyed said they save anywhere from $21 to $40. Furthermore, approximately six percent said they save more than $80 every day!
The survey indicates that there are benefits to both the worker and the environment when telecommuting takes place. Obviously, certain jobs cannot be completed from home; a Los Angeles pest control technician, for example, has to be on the road to get his or her work done. Still, for many positions, telecommuting is a real possibility and should be considered.