5 Innovations to Make Telecommuting Easy & Green

working from home oil savings image

Image credit: US Strategic Perspective Institute/the Working from Home Council
Many employers still resist telecommuting, but there's no doubt that encouraging people to work from home—even part time—could go a long way toward cutting congestion and reducing our dependence on oil. After all, even a one-day-a-week telecommute results in 20% less mileage on your daily commute. Not convinced? Check out Lloyd's selection of ten good reasons to telecommute. But like anything else, telecommuting only works if you prepare for it the right way. And technology has a big role to play. So let's take a look at 5 technological innovations that help you make the most of your telecommute. They're not all as obvious as you might think.

Video Conferencing

Photo by Scottfeldstein

It's an obvious choice, but technologies like video conferencing can dramatically reduce the need to commute and/or travel for meetings. In fact, Jaymi reported back in June that video conferencing could reduce CO2 by as much as 5.5m tons, and save billions in the process. Interested? Why not propose video conferencing to your company? And while companies may be investing in fancy video conferencing technology for the best interactive experience, even using Google's video chat or skype can be a great help in combating the isolation of working from home.


carrboro coworking image

Image credit: Carrboro Creative Coworking

This one may be more of a service than a technology, but coworking workspaces can be a huge benefit for telecommuters—especially those with no permanent office. Instead of trecking to your organizations headquarters, you can access all the benefits of a professional office within your own community. And for many small businesses, you can even avoid the need for an office of your own all together. (Imagine the embodied energy saved!)

Smart Phones

Image credit: Kabar IT

Jaymi may have identified 5 features that would make smart phones really smart, but there's no doubt that the ability to check email, access the internet and even video chat directly on your phone makes it easier to free yourself from the office. Of course there's a flip side to this freedom from a green perspective—if we can work from anywhere, we can go anywhere. And the climate hardly needs us to do more jet setting than we already do. (Not to mention that the principles of Slow Business dictate that we step away from the smart phone from time-to-time too...)

Visit page 2 to find out how a decent office chair, and even an office thermostat, can make all the difference for successful telecommuting.

Related Content on Treehugger.com