How it Helps
Remote working and flexible working hours has the potential to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions and greenhouse gas formation, leading to an improvement of overall air quality.4 Additionally, reduced congestion due to fewer vehicles on the road can lower urban noise levels and mitigate the negative impact on transportation infrastructure and prolong its lifetime. It can also make current public transit systems more able to meet the population’s demands. Other employee benefits can include promoting family-friendly working practices, reducing the need to take un-paid leave, and allow greater job satisfaction.5 It can also enhance connectivity between employees in different cities, or even countries. Since employees will not need to be physically present in an office to do their tasks, they will experience less traffic-related stress and risk of motor vehicle crashes. For the employer, remote and flexible working hours can increase staff motivation, help recruit future employees, and better adapt to seasonal demands.
Management and Planning:
Work schedules should be structured to accommodate the program’s requirements for telecommuting. For the strategy to effectively reduce congestion, there must be enough planning, enforcement, and collaboration.6
For organizations to adopt this approach, public-private partnerships are crucial for raising awareness and educating the public. Organizations should educate employees on the advantages and best practices of telecommuting. If specific emission or cost reduction targets are attained, employers may also provide incentives for telecommuting.6
Most of the expense of telecommuting is spent on planning, rescheduling employees, and ensuring everyone has access to suitable computers and other technologies. The average cost of training a new telecommuter is between $100 and $500. Arrangements for working from home often cost between $20,000 and $40,000. Therefore, financing must be provided to pay these high expenses for this strategy to be successful.6
Unfortunately, the option to work remotely may not be available to individuals from all socioeconomic backgrounds.7 Lower-income individuals may be more likely to hold jobs that do not allow the option to work from home. Additionally, employees must be able to have reliable technology equipment and internet connection that enables them to work remotely.
1) Global Workplace Analytics Report
A report by Global Workplace Analytics found that if employees with telework-compatible jobs chose to work from home half of the time, this would reduce nationwide greenhouse gases by approximately 54 million tons per year. It would also reduce roadway wear and tear, decrease traffic violence incidents, and save transportation-related costs for employees.
2) The Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT) Solutions
The Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT) is a top organization for individuals and groups, focusing on providing commuting choices and solutions for a successful transportation system. ACT supports encouraging teleworking to lessen traffic and enhance air quality while simultaneously lowering energy reliance. The ACT Council discusses and disseminates information on telework as a substitute for traditional commuting for the modern, changing workforce. The Council addresses various topics, such as municipal regulations, workplace difficulties, regional training programs, and technological trends and advancements.