Theories and opinions abound on the topic and politics of global warming, but one element of environmental awareness that is almost universally agreed upon is this: oil and coal are finite resources and the world’s reserves will one day be depleted or unreachable. Thus it becomes incumbent on our society to develop the ability to harness renewable energy resources, and to conserve the energy we have while this significant economic shift takes place.
In most of my assignments I have been effective working predominantly from a home office when not traveling, with occasional trips to see clients and into the offices of Jones Lang LaSalle for specific tasks and collaborations that require face-to-face engagement. Smartphones, powerful computers and a substantial broadband infrastructure make it increasingly possible to be productive in the field.
A substantial telecommuting segment in the workforce reduces emissions and frees up highways for those who must commute, enabling them to travel at highway speeds rather than at a fuel-gulping stop-and-go rate. Telecommuters also shrink the office footprint, reducing the energy consumption required to maintain corporate productivity. And the time not spent on the road provides telecommuters with additional time to invest in clients, families and communities, enhancing health, personal development, job satisfaction and overall quality of life.
An interesting recent study from Widener University takes an in-depth look at telecommuting and estimates that gas emissions could be reduced by roughly 588 tons over the next 10 years if even just a relatively small additional percentage of the workforce telecommuted.