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Don't Waste Your Time Stuck in the Snow. Telecommute!

John Platt, January 10, 2012

There's no way to be delicate about it: winter driving sucks. It's no fun, it's dangerous, and it produces far too many greenhouse gases due to all of the time we spend stuck in traffic.

So if the snow is falling, don't warm up your car. Warm up your computer, stay home and telecommute.

Now, it's easy for me to tell everyone else to telecommute. I work from home. I don't spend hours stuck in traffic every day trying to get past people who are stuck in snowbanks or who have slid into each other on patches of black ice. But I used to commute for hours a day, and I'll never go back to it. Forget it. It's safer at home, and I produce far few carbon emissions.

Why telecommute? Well, look at the time you spend in the car alone. You probably need to spend an extra five to ten minutes warming up your vehicle and clearing it of snow and ice before you even start your commute (not to mention your return trip). The snowy roads mean you have to drive slower, so you burn more gas. You need to blast your heater because it's so darn cold.

Yup, it all adds up.

Oh, and then there's the stress of driving in bad weather. Stress shortens lives. Period.

Your company should be able to give you every tool you need to telecommute: a laptop, or at least remote access to your email and files; call forwarding so you can take your office calls on your cell phone or home phone; video conferencing for those of you who decide to shower in the morning. It's easy and cheap and effective. And it keeps you alive, which is really in your company's best interest.

Start planning this now, before the next snowstorm. Ask your boss for the tools you'll need, like a laptop or certain software or a good headset for your phone. Figure out how to access your voice mail and phone controls remotely. Invest in a few good thumb drives so you can carry your files with you if you don't have a laptop or remote access to your servers. Ask for a smartphone so you can stay connected.

Then, when the snow hits, you'll be safe, unstressed, and much more able to work.

There, isn't that much better?

Tags: Daily Green, Green Ideas, Green Office, Telecommute, Telecommuting

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