Working Naked Day: How green is working from home?

Turns out there’s something to celebrate in February before Groundhog’s Day… today is Working Naked Day. No, that doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to strip down at the office; rather, February 1st has been designated as a day of recognizing the benefits of working from home.

Whether telecommuting for a job or “solopreneuring,” working from a home office has a lot to recommend it beyond the clothing optional option… and those of us in the green space have long sung its praises in terms of an eco-friendly alternative to the traditional commute. After all, walking through the house to the home office has to be more planet and climate-friendly than sitting in traffic… right?

According to Washington Post Green Lantern blogger Brian Palmer, the answer is yes… mostly. No doubt you’re eliminating the carbon emissions produced by a drive, or even a public transportation commute, but those saving may be largely offset by home climate control (especially heat), as well as having the television on, etc. Offices can be nasty hubs of politics, gossip, and bad decor… they can also be really efficient in terms of using energy to keep more people comfortable.

Palmer uses a 2003 study of energy-related emissions of telework as his source, and concludes that working from home can be an energy and carbon saver… if you do it on days when you don’t need to run the heat (thus making a February choice for Working Naked day a bit ironic from an environmental standpoint), and if you’re willing to increase home efficiency, and decrease use of things like home fax/copy machines, etc. His final suggestion: “Abandon your car first, then worry about whether you’d rather take the bus or stay home.”

Got suggestions for maximizing the environmental benefits of “working naked?” Share them with us…

via AOL News


Image credit: Plutor at Flickr under a Creative Commons license