Increase Business Productivity AND Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions

While participating in a discussion in the Security Catalyst community I posted a message about how much more productive time I have now that I work from my home office as opposed to commuting in to an office building each day. After I finished posting I started thinking about how much more productive most businesses could be if they would establish significant portions of their workforce to work from home.

Just consider my experience.
I’m very thankful that I am now able to have my own business in my home office. I can do most of my work here, and only travel maybe once every month or two for 2 – 4 days at a time. I make frequent use of phone conference meetings, and I don’t have anyone just “dropping by” my office to chit-chat.
Compared to when I commuted into Des Moines to work, I save quite a bit of time each day M – F:
~ 1 hour getting ready in the morning
~ 45 minutes driving from my house to parking and getting to my desk
~ 1 hour (this should probably actually be more most days) having drop-ins to my office, chit-chat, lunch (I now eat at my desk while working with no break for lunch), etc.
~ 1 hour driving back home each day (morning commute was quicker because I left the house at 5:30am…before much traffic)
Total time saved per work day = 3 hrs. 45 min. * number of workdays 5 (M – F) = 18 hrs. 45 min. saved per week. This could have been a part time job!
Yes, I definitely put in more work hours now…but considering I save around 19 hours or more of commute/”wasted” time per week, it’s a pretty good, productive trade-off…and I now get to spend more time with my family, and I definitely get a little more sleep than I used to!
In addition to increasing my productive work time by 19+ hours per week, I also spend very little on gas for my car…eliminating the carbon dioxide emissions I used to spew into the air. I’m now a “greener” worker!
Just imagine what impact it could have upon both business productivity and the environment if more companies established home workers. Yes, more people are working from their homes than probably than any other time in the past 3 – 4 decades. However, there could be more working from home offices.
There will always be certain types of jobs where people NEED to be in the office to do their work.
And there will always be a need for face-to-face meetings to be held. However, for these, perhaps one or two days a week could be specified for meeting days, with the other days dedicated to just doing work individually and communicating when necessary by phone.
You will also need to consider that certain personalities work better when they are in the highly structured office building environment, and others can work well alone and self-directed. Some of my friends who are CISOs and CIOs have told me that they could never work from a home office because they’d be too tempted to do other things, such as watch TV or do their hobbies. Those types of personalities probably wouldn’t be good fits then.
However, I know I work much better within my own home office, better able to focus on getting my business projects done without any temptation at all from other parts of the house. I know a significant portion of th population could also be very productive.
You would need to have strong procedures in place to ensure the security of the business applications, systems and information within the home office and address all the remote working security issues. With appropriate policies, procedures, technologies and good, ongoing awareness and training, though, this is very doable.
Let’s consider the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reduction. According to Sightline Institute an SUV puts out 1.57 pounds of CO2 per mile. Driving a round trip of 60 miles to and from work would equal 94.2 pounds of CO2…gee, that sounds like a lot!
If you could put 100 workers who drive SUVs (very, very common here in the midwest), and commute an average of 60 miles round trip, into home offices, this would save 9420 pounds of CO2 per day!
Yes, there are many, many more variables involved, but looking from a high view, this certainly could make an impact, couldn’t it? Not only upon business productivity, but also upon reducing CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

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