What would you do to improve your office? Buy a round of donuts? Add a plant to your desk? Put up a colorful calendar? Or put on your slippers, brew a cup of coffee and get to work? It’s Improve Your Office Day here in the U.S. and the Meetings Experts at PGi aren’t surprised by a recent study by Staples that showed that most workers don’t want to improve cubicle world. Instead, 41% of respondents said they wanted to telecommute and another 34% wanted flexible work hours.
1. Money. A recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management showed that people will actually take a pay cut to telecommute. And one of the major reasons is that they save more by skipping the commute and working from home. As an example, here’s my approximate yearly savings by teleworking three days per week.
- Gas: $3.43/gallon (62 miles roundtrip/23 miles per gallon) x 156 days = $1,442.38
- Car Maintenance:
- Approximately 9,700 annual miles saved
- Oil Changes: 3 x $40 = $120
- New tires: 2 x $120 = $240; 4 x $120 = $480
- Toll fees: $1 x 156 days = $156
- Lunch and Coffee:
- Starbucks bill: $3.29 Americano x 156 days = $513.24
- Lunch with colleagues (even though I brought a frozen meal): $8 x 52 days = $416
- Clothes: 5 business suits, 10 dress shirts, stockings, 5 pairs of shoes, drying cleaning = $3,500
- GRAND TOTAL: $6,627.62 (and I’m actually a pretty frugal person!)
- Note that SMBs could save up to $124 billion by implementing a telecommuting strategy.
2. Work Life Balance. The SHRM study also cited that workers will take a pay cut because telecommuting improves their personal lives, saying that flexible work arrangements would make them better parents.
- Spend commuting time with your family and friends instead of sitting in traffic.
- Flexible hours mean that instead of taking paid time off, you can rearrange your schedule to make time for doctor’s visits, sick kids, grocery shopping and more.
- Telecommuters cite better health, avoiding “Sick Building Syndrome” with office colds, back problems, eye strain, headaches and more. Teleworkers also lead more healthy lifestyles by making better meal choices at home and getting more sleep.
- Major stress reduction by avoiding the stress of driving to work, public transportation or office politics.
- Improvement in creativity, productivity and job satisfaction.
3. Environmental Savings. The environmental benefits of teleworking are amazing and stem both from the individual employee to the larger corporate structure.
- If 32 million Americans worked from home one day per week, 74 million gallons of gas could be saved.
- Telecommuting one day could save an equivalent of 12 hours of a household’s energy consumption.
- For a 40 mile commute every day, the average teleworker removes up to 3,600 pounds of carbon emissions.
I’m turning “Improve Your Office Day” into “Improve Your World Day.” Just by working from home three days a week, I’m not only choosing a more convenient arrangement. I’m making my life better, making my family happier and helping make our world a better place. This is a great day.
How are you celebrating “Improve Your Office Day?” Need help crafting your company’s remote work policy? Share your thoughts with us here and join the conversation on Twitter with #ImproveYourOfficeDay.