Going green by going virtual

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Bob BestPosted by:
Bob Best
Energy and Sustainability Services

I started cleaning out my desk today … not to leave my company, but to finally join the growing trend toward “virtual officing.”  I will be working at home a few days a week, traveling other days and only coming into the business office a few days a week.   That means a lot less car time, gasoline consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. 

While I feel like a pioneer, I’m not.  The trend toward the “modern office,” with people taking less space, hoteling or just working from home, has been under way for awhile. 

A recent article in the Los Angeles times notes that the average office worker is down from 500 to 700 square feet to 200 square feet, and that more and more workers are using “touch down” stations versus assigned spaces.

The Times notes that … “Many companies are emphasizing teamwork, and younger employees accustomed to working anywhere but at a desk are turning up their noses at the hierarchical formality of traditional offices. In addition, familiar technologies such as laptop computers, cell phones and videoconferencing are finally beginning to affect the way offices are laid out.”

One results is that tenants renewing office leases these days often cut their space needs by 10 percent to 30 percent.

Whatever the motivations … economics, teamwork, culture … when people use less space, less materials and travel less, they’re helping the environment.


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