Telecommute & save money - MoneySense

Telecommute & save money

Tough economic times means you may not be seeing a raise of any significance this year. Enter the benefits of the home office.



What if you could find a way to make the money you’re currently earning go further? How about if you could eliminate 50 commuting days a year? That’d save you some money. And the year you don’t get a great raise may be just the year to raise the option with your boss.

If you have the guts and the influence to get your boss to agree to let you telecommute at least one day a week, not only will you save, so will she. This has become a pretty hot topic. Ever since President Obama signed into law the Telework Enhancement Act in 2010, people in the U.S. have started talking seriously about the money that could be saved by NOT commuting to work every day. With the cost of gas rising and our distances in Canada, imagine what we could save.

Need ideas on how to sell telecommuting to your boss? Here’s some ammo:

Telecommuting means productivity goes up. Cisco Systems has seen up to 60% of the time saved from not commuting recycled back to work. On a two-hour-a-day commute, you get 48 minutes more personal time, and the company gets 72 minutes more work time. Sounds like a win all-round.

Stress goes down. Imagine all those days when you don’t have to fight traffic to get to work. Imagine how much less stress you’ll feel. Less stress means you’re happier and healthier. Another win/win.

It’s good for the environment. Yup, you can play the green card when making an argument to convince your company to look into the benefits of telecommuting. Cisco measured this too and determined a telecommuting workforce would reduce its carbon footprint by more than 47, 000 metric tons.

Snow days, flu epidemics, frustrated and angry commuters will all become historical horrors. Loyalty (not every employer is smart enough to do this), lower operating costs, and higher productivity can be the rewards.

You may not be earning more this year, but if you can cut your costs by telecommuting one or two days a week, you’ll have the money you need to keep your savings growing. Don’t forget the tax savings for having an at-home office; plough those back into your savings too.