The ultimate commute is one that doesn’t involve a car, public transit, or even a bike. It’s as close to 100% sustainable as you can get, it’s not affected by holiday traffic or bad weather, and there’s never an accident on this route. After this commute you feel so refreshed that your work productivity increases significantly. It’s the only type of commute that I prefer over bike commuting, and I partake in it whenever possible. Sounds like a dream doesn’t it? What is it? Telecommuting.
I quite enjoy working at home, and I can usually manage it at least one day a week. A typical day sees me up at 4:30-5:00 am working for a couple of hours; taking a break for breakfast and a little blogging; working for another couple of hours through the mid-morning; taking a break for a slow bike ride to a local haunt for a long, leisurely lunch; working through the afternoon; taking a break in the early evening to do a few chores and have a nice sit-down dinner with the family; and finishing up the workday after dinner. On the clock it’s a long day, and even though I’m often far more productive than I would be at the office (with all of its inherent distractions and interruptions), it often feels as if I’ve hardly worked at all.
Telecommuting is an easy sell based solely upon its personal benefits, but I also appreciate the fact that it’s good for the environment without appearing to be too “green”. I gave up long ago talking to my friends and colleagues about the environment; the topic has become so politicized that it’s now akin to discussing, well… politics. But, telecommuting has so many personal benefits that I don’t hesitate to discuss it freely with anyone who will listen. I mean, who wouldn’t want to spend more time at home, increase their work productivity by 25% or more, save money on gas, and reduce their stress level? And if one of my less environmentally conscious friends or colleagues chooses to telecommute only for the personal benefits, that’s still one car off the road, regardless of what was behind the decision.