If you have a long or gridlocked rush hour commute, consider working from home.  Telecommuting just one day a week could save you significant time, gas, stress, and money.  Most companies have some form of telecommute program.  Check with your company to find out your options!

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Annual Savings
$0 - $0
Upfront Cost
These are estimates

Energy and water savings

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kWh Electricity
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Therms Natural Gas
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Gallons Gas
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Gallons Water
  • Save time, money and the stress of commuting!
  • Reduce wear and tear and maintenance costs on your car
  • Work from the comfort of your own home
  • Reduce carbon emissions and air pollution

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The Action
I (or we) will telecommute at least 1 day/week.
Is this action for me?
If you work outside the home, this action is for you!
When and Who?
This action can be done by anyone anytime.
How long will it take?
Medium - a bit of time to check in with your manager, get approval and get set up to work from home.
What is the cost?
No cost and big savings!


  • Save time, money and the stress of commuting!

  • Reduce wear and tear and maintenance costs on your car

  • Work from the comfort of your own home

  • Reduce carbon emissions and air pollution

The Basics

Telecommuting is a popular option for some employees who live far away from work or want to avoid rush hour traffic commutes. By working from home and making use of the telephone, email and internet, many employees are able to communicate with the main office and work effectively without making the trip to work.


Check out your company’s telecommuting policy
Choose days to work from home
Set up your work area
Thank your boss!

Check out your company's telecommuting policy

Telecommuting is a great option for many employees.  In 2015, approximately 60% of companies had some form of telecommuting program.  However, it doesn’t work for all companies and positions.  It would be hard to telecommute if you were an air traffic controller!  Ask your manager about your company’s telecommuting policy and find out what types of programs your company offers.  If your company doesn’t have a policy, make a suggestion!  Here are some of the benefits of telecommuting you can mention when you talk with your manager:

  • Retain top talent through more flexible work options

  • Increase employee morale by offering flexible options that help reduce commute stress and provide other positive benefits

  • Giving employees the option to telecommute when feeling under the weather helps to keep other employees healthy and saves the company money

  • Significantly reduce company expenses - telecommuting employees save the company money and can help meet company sustainability goals

A study by the Consumer Electronics Association found that using electronics to telecommute can save up to 14 billion kilowatt-hours of energy each year.  This is equal to the energy needed to power 1 million US households annually. Some of the top companies in the U.S., including Dell, Xerox and Aetna, have substantial telecommute programs.  All three companies report that employees who participate in telecommuting programs “appear to be more engaged, productive and happy at work”.  

Research backs this up and shows that employees who are able to work remotely are happier with their jobs, feel less work stress and show improved performance.  People who frequently work from home show loyalty to their jobs, resulting in higher employee retention rates.

Some components of a good telecommute policy:

  • Clear company policies and guidelines for telecommuting

  • Company provided teleconferencing service, laptop or other equipment needed for effectively working at home

  • Assessment program where managers and employees can determine whether this is a good fit for the employee and their work responsibilities.

  • Education and training for telecommuting employees to learn how to communicate and collaborate with other employees, use the technologies needed for telecommuting communications and how to manage time effectively working from home.

  • IT support and review of programs to ensure security for all data and work performed at home.

  • Good structure for regular communications and check-ins with managers and team members.

Talk with your manager to see if telecommuting is a possibility for your position.  It might be a win-win-win: good for you, good for the company and the climate! 

Get set up to work from home

Nearly 2.8 million employees in the U.S. consider home their primary place of work, so you’re not alone!  Before getting started, you need to get set up with everything you need to be effective working at home.  First, work with your manager to determine which days you can work from home.  Depending on your position, this may be only one or two days/week, or could be full time.  Studies have found that employees that telecommute two days a week are the most satisfied.  Two days provides time to work from home as well as the benefit of being on site part of the time.

Next, find a good location for your home work space where you can work effectively.  Make sure that you have everything you need to communicate with the office while you’re at home.  Teleconferencing, real time chat, email and other communication tools are all good options.  Ask your company for information on which methods they prefer and for training on various communication options.

Work with the IT department to make sure your home network and workspace meets all IT and security requirements for your company.  Finally, work with your manager on a schedule for communications, check ins and deadlines for your work.  Then get to work and enjoy!  Think of ways to spend the extra time you would have been commuting - extra time with family, time for errands, extra time for a work-out…the possibilities are endless!

Check out your savings and thank your boss!

In addition to extra time, you will also have extra money from avoided fuel and maintenance costs for your vehicle.  The calculator will give you an estimate of your annual cost savings above.  Let your manager know how much you appreciate the flexibility, savings and other benefits of telecommuting.  Positive feed back from you and your coworkers may encourage your employer to expand their telecommute program!

Reduce flying miles too

Telecommuting or teleconferencing can also be used to reduce business trips.  Airline miles are a huge expense and large portion of many companies' carbon emissions.  Talk with your manager about the possibilities of replacing airline miles with teleconferencing options.