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Telecommuting and Energy Conservation

by Sensix Team

Telecommuting vs. remote working

telecommuting, (tɛlɪkəˈmjuːtɪŋ), noun = the activity of working for a company but staying at home and communicating with an office by computer and telephone;

remote working, (rɪˌməʊt ˈwɜː.kɪŋ), noun = the practice of an employee working at their home, or in some other place that is not an organization’s usual place of business;

Even if the two concepts might look identical the distinction between them is important and distance is the key. Depending on the country’s legislation, “remote” might imply that the employee lives outside the geographic area of the organization’s location, at a reasonable commuting distance and may therefore be subject to different tax and legal requirements.

Telecommuting, on the other hand, signifies that the employee is working relatively close to the organization’s location and can, at least, part-time work on-site. An organization can have both employees that work remotely from all over the globe and also employees telecommuting from a moderate distance.

Can we save energy by telecommuting?

Of course.

But first, there are some studies analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of telecommuting in correlation with energy saving. The main problem is that everytime we’re talking about energy savings there will always be rebound effects too that might eliminate the energy savings from telework. An example of a rebound effect is that the number of trips unrelated to work, like shopping trips, increased because of telework. This implies more energy consumption for transportation and not only.

Even if there are some disadvantages, there are good parts too. One advantage would be that telework improves energy efficiency behaviors at home because telecommuters pay for energy use at home and not at work. This makes them more responsible when using energy which is truly great.

In conclusion, what is important now is to understand that we can save energy by telecommuting so we only need to find the right ways to do that.

What to do and how to do

Some ways of saving energy while telecommuting are:

  • Work in a bright area of your home; You can take advantage of natural light and save energy while working. This will improve not only your energy savings but also your state of mind.
  • Plan the work day ahead; By planning your work day in advance you can avoid spending more hours in front of the computer. This way you can also avoid excess energy consumption.
  • Maintain an ideal temperature; You can just set the air conditioner at a moderate temperature and take care to close the doors and windows in order to maintain the temperature. Thus, you don’t need to use more energy with the AC.
  • Invest in the insulation of your home; Besides closing doors and windows, a good insulation of the house will also reduce the use of air conditioning devices.
  • Turn off lights and appliances that you don’t use;
  • Save energy with your computer; There is not only one way to save energy with your computer. Depending on your work you can find new ways each day. For example, you can set the computer and monitor to go into “power save” mode after a period of inactivity. If you are not going to use the computer for a longer period of time, then you can just turn it off. You can also adjust the brightness of the screen.
  • Use energy-efficient appliances and LED lights.

Find more about these energy saving “tricks” here.

Let us give you a little help

You are the only one who can take the initiative and start to save energy, but we are here to give you some help. In order to have a better view on your energy consumption you can use our device to monitor energy performance. This way you will have a clear view on how you use energy. Even more, after finding this information we can help you with professional advice on how to save energy. For further information you can contact us here.

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