Telecommuting calculator adds up savings for employees and employers
The folks at Undress4success.com, the Web site jam-packed with everything you need to know about working from home, have introduced the Telework Savings Calculator. Based on U.S. Census data and other information, the calculator can help determine if working from home is beneficial to you as an employer and as an employee. It also reflects the environmental impact of not getting in a car each day and commuting to work. 
In his Infoworld.com Sustainable IT column, telecommuter Ted Samson called the calculator a nifty new tool.
"I'm particularly impressed by the level of granularity this calculator offers: It takes into account the average distance employees must travel to work; the cost of electricity based on region; the number of offices that telecommuting program eliminates; and the amount of money employees might spend on things like lunch and day care," Samson wrote.
The calculator lets you zero in on specific locations and consider factors such as fuel prices and pollution reduction. According to the Web site, less than six million Americans consider home their workplace and employers could improve their bottom line by about $8,000 per new telecommuter each year as a result of decreased real estate, electricity, absenteeism, and turnover costs.
When Jennifer Kaplan, who writes for ecopreneurist.com, calculated telecommuting figures for the Washington D.C. area, she found out that 4 percent of the population there telecommutes, saving the planet 23,326 tons of CO2 in addition to $807 a year in gas for each telecommuter.
"While this is very cool to know, I wondered at first exactly how I could put this data to good use," Kaplan wrote. "If I were an employer I could calculate the good I would be doing if I let my employees telecommute... Also, if I wanted to convince my boss to let me telecommute, this could help my case. All very cool."
The expansive Undress4success.com, a Web site and blog, says telecommuting saves big companies big money. For example, Dow Chemical saved a third of its non-real estate costs this way. Other companies mentioned on the Web site, including Best Buy and American Express, tout the increased productivity of at-home workers, saying they were 20-to-40 percent more productive than their office counterparts.
Undress4success.com was created by Kate Lister and Tom Harnish, who have collectively worked from their home for more than four decades. They have written the book, Undress for Success: The Naked Truth About Making Money at Home.