USA Today’s Best Columnists’ Opinion Yet

Yesterday Laura Vanderkam wrote one of the best articles about telecommuting that I’ve read (or written) in a long time. What’s more, she wrote it late at night in comfy attire! That’s right, she admitted to being in her bedroom and in her PJs. I can’t help but wonder if she’d have come up with such a strong argument for telecommuting in such a thought-provoking way had she been forced to write the article while sitting in a cubicle somewhere downtown with thoughts of her commute home dancing in her head.

She begins by pointing out that so many companies are jumping on the “we’re green” bandwagon lately yet most overlook the most obvious way to go green. She says,

We might be using Coldwater detergent, but every morning, 76% of America’s commuters drive, alone, an average of 25 minutes to their workplaces. Many of these people then proceed to e-mail or call people in other places. Indeed, about 40% of the U.S. workforce has jobs that, largely, do not need to be done from a central location. If the millions of Americans who never work from home, but could, stayed in their PJs, this would save a sizeable chunk of our oil imports from the Persian Gulf.

She’s also figured out that she’s personally saved herself more than 800 hours of commute time and about about 1,500 gallons of gas over the past five years of working from home. I really, really should figure out exactly what I’ve saved by working at home all these years.

Want to save the planet? Stay home. Read it for the stats, the well-written thoughts, and the proof that there are those of us who do what we do quite well right here from home. Then stick around for the comments, they’re a HOOT and make some great points all their own.


  1. I’m a full time remote worker and there are great productivity benefits. But I can understand the reluctance of companies to make more positions telecommuting. Face to Face meetings still are essential in many places.

    I would like to see more companies where workers don’t have to be there to get work done, close the office on Wednesday so people can telecommute one day a week. Mondays and Fridays won’t work because those opposed to telecommuting will simply see it as a long weekend. But a middle of the week experiment my be the way for a lot of companies to get used to the idea.

  2. Cromely,

    “Face to Face meetings still are essential in many places.”

    True, and that’s why most telecommuters work from home 1 to 2 days a week only.

    I don’t necessarily agree with your hypothesis that Mondays and Fridays won’t work for a telecommute pilot; at least in my office, they tend to be the least productive days of the week and telecommuting on one or both those days makes the most logical sense.

  3. I actually just read an article about Virginia and how state government there is trying to encourage companies to offer work from home opportunities in the name of going green. I think it is a trend that will continue as companies look for more ways to save more money in this economy, and as people become more environmentally conscious.
    .-= Dan´s last blog ..Work from Home Companies for Crafters =-.

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