If your company gives you the option of telecommuting for your job, you should definitely consider taking it. Many people find the concept of telecommuting strange because your home environment becomes your work environment, and the interaction with your colleagues you would normally get working in a traditional office setting is reduced. However, there are many positives to telecommuting, including being able to reduce your budget.
Cisco, a major American company, surveyed its teleworkers and found that a majority found increased work-life balance, increased productivity, and overall job satisfaction because of their ability to telecommute. Because of increasing technology, it is now easier than ever to work from home.
Here are four ways that telecommuting can save you money:
Save on Parking, Gasoline, and Car Maintenance
When you work from home, expenses associated with working in an office setting (e.g. downtown) are reduced. Depending on how much it usually costs you to park, this can save you anywhere upwards of $75-$100 a week.
According to Smart Planet, the average commuter in the 15 largest cities in the United States spent an extra $1166 annually due to traffic congestion.
GovLoop has a fun Telework calculator that estimates the amount of money you would save a year depending on the number of miles (unfortunately it is American based) you drive and the number of minutes it takes to commute. It also estimates the amount of greenhouses gases that would be reduced should you stay home instead of heading to the office.
Save on Office Wear
The average North American household spends an average of 3.8% of their household income on clothing. That might not seem like much, but if you take a $60,000 gross household income, that’s about $2,280. That’s a lot of money.
When you telecommute, you won’t feel the need to impress your colleagues and your customers in your business (e.g. buying new clothes at Banana Republic on a regular basis). In addition, you’ll also save money on dry cleaning costs.
Save on Day Care Costs
Although this might not be likely, as having a crying toddler at home can be quite the distraction to productivity, saving money on day care costs is another positive aspect of telecommuting. Even if you telecommute just once a week, this can be the difference between having to pay for full-time day care or just two-day a week day care.
Considering that average day care costs can run upwards of $900 to $1200 full-time per child in major cities, this can mean substantial savings if you are somehow able to swing having your child home.
Save on Lattes and Lunches
Finally, when you work from home, you’ll be more inclined to make your lunch at home (going out for lunch while working from home just doesn’t seem to “jive”). Without the temptation to have coffee with coworkers or lunch with coworkers, this can also mean substantial savings.
Considering that on average, people spend at least $5 on the coffee breaks (a tall latte from Starbucks is about $3.50 and you’ll likely get some sort of muffin or pastry), and maybe $10 on lunch, this could mean upwards of $3600 in savings on an annual basis. Brewing your own coffee at home costs pennies compared to a daily latte at Starbucks.
Due to the current economy, many employees are hesitant to ask their employer for telecommuting. Monster.com recommends that you emphasize the benefits of telecommuting to your employer. There are many benefits to the employer by allowing their employees to telecommute, including increased employee productivity (most people are on Facebook at the office during the majority of the time anyway, aren’t they?), less need to pay for office space (they can have “flex” desks instead), less sick time (I’m sure many people call in sick to run errands), and most importantly, higher job satisfaction, meaning less employee turnover.
Even if employees are able to telecommute maybe once a week to even once a month, employee satisfaction will increase and this flexibility is what employees crave.
Bargainmoosers, does your company offer telecommuting? Do the employees take advantage of it?
Photo Credit (Plutor)