Environmental Benefits of a Virtual Workforce ~ Part II – 2010 Virtual Workforce Series

In Part I of my 2010 Virtual Workforce Series, I discussed how Virtual Workforces Provide Solutions to Typical Telework Challenges. This post continues that series with information about environmental benefits of a virtual workforce.

With the global celebration of Earth Day just yesterday, timing for this post seems appropriate. One of the most topical and politically correct benefits of a virtual workforce is the reduced negative impact on the environment. When I see companies like Fido (click for 30-second ad clip) putting their advertising dollars into creating TV spots to highlight the green benefits of their products; I’m quite confident that the environment remains a hot topic. Consumers continue to make their purchasing decisions based on more than just the product or price.

Companies which produce excellent products or services while including an environmental benefit stand a good chance of winning consumer confidence and loyalty. Just for fun, Google ‘Green Products’ and see how many hits you get.

It can be challenging to promote a green business service vs. a product, so, here are some ways a virtual workforce helps the environment:

  • Each virtual worker = 1 less regularly commuting vehicle thereby reducing carbon emissions
  • The required physical footprint of a brick and mortar building is reduced by limiting the number of onsite workers—this includes any required parking spaces.
  • Utility costs are reduced for brick and mortar buildings with fewer workers onsite.
  • Significantly reduce consumption of paper and other office products.
  • Lower requirement for unsustainable office equipment and supplies, e.g. computer terminals, printers, toner, desks, chairs, carpet, dividers, etc.
  • Decreased in-office refuse from office supplies and packed lunches.

Implementing sufficient internal policies to govern confidentiality and privacy issues goes a long way towards increasing the use of electronic means to manage documents.

A full or partial virtual workforce can help make a significant contribution to the common goal of preserving our environment while helping companies improve their corporate environmental image. This innovative business solution, with a positive environmental angle, can be of particular benefit to companies in ‘dirty industries.’

I know there are more creative ideas about how virtual workers can help our environment; I look forward to reading your stories & suggestions in the comments.

Visit our website to find a link to calculate your carbon footprint – http://www.westcoastway.com

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4 Responses to “Environmental Benefits of a Virtual Workforce ~ Part II – 2010 Virtual Workforce Series”
  1. Great benefits! says:

    Good points it never really occurred to me before that virtual offices had so many environmental benefits. pollution is a major issue especially in major cities so more people should take notice. Virtual Offices also have cost saving benefits as well so it is definitely a viable option.

  2. To add a few statistics to your post, Karen:
    Every 106 miles of commuting eliminated by telecommuting, saves about a ton of CO2 emissions. So if you telecommute just 2 days a week for a year, the average (25 miles each way) telecommuter can save about 50 tons of CO2!

    This means a lot to us, which is why we’ve started up The Satellite, to offer neighborhood-based workspace — so you don’t have to try to telecommute from Starbucks or your kitchen table. http://www.thesatelliteinc.com .

    • Thanks Barbara. A neighbourhood-based workspace is a great solution which is increasing in popularity for those without a viable home-based office space or those who need somewhere to ‘go to work.’ For some, having an office to go to is a necessary element to a productive day of work…how great that you’re offering that in their own neighbourhood. Best of luck!

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    This post was mentioned on Twitter by WestCoastWay: Environmental Benefits of a Virtual Workforce ~ Part II – 2010 Virtual Workforce Series: http://wp.me/pNVrH-47

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