Workshifting: An Answer to Fuel Prices

My husband needed to borrow my car this weekend for a road trip out to the desert, so he asked me, “Does your car have gas in it?”

My mind quickly went through all the outings since my last fill-up over a week ago, and I realized I had taken a grand total of 4 drives in my car, each under 5 miles. So I replied, “It sure does. You should have plenty of gas for your trip!”

I could manage so few trips because I workshift from my home office on almost a daily basis through various Citrix products. During times like these with the latest spike in gas prices, I am extremely grateful for my work situation. I am able to save thousands of dollars every year by cutting out my commute. And all it took was asking my boss if I could do a test run at making it work. That was 8 years ago now. At the time, I didn’t know many people who also worked from home as often (or what impact it could have), but I’ve noticed the trend grow more and more, and the money saved and environmental benefit is greater than I had imagined all those years ago.

Here are just a couple workshifting advantages taken from “Improving Quality of Life through Telecommuting.” Converting just 14 percent of jobs to telecommuting positions would:

  • Eliminate 136 billion vehicle travel miles annually in the United States by 2020 and 171 billion miles by 2030.
  • Reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 55 million metric tons – or nearly 1 percent of current national CO2 emissions.

So regardless of what happens with gas prices, workshifting can be an effective solution for employers, employees and the environment. I know it has been for me.


Photo credit: bernhardbenke