Friday, October 30, 2015

Go GREEN (Part 1), Simple Things Michigan Companies Can Do to be More Green


Go green doesn't mean go Spartans, Michigan State University.  In this instance we are taking about our our Carbon Footprint. 
There are several options that Michigan companies can adopt to go GREEN and help to reduce our carbon footprint on the earth.  These include:

  • Go 100% Virtual Office Space for all Knowledge Workers
  • Require Knowledge Workers to Work From Home at Least 2 -3 Days a Week 
  • Go to a 4 X 10 Work Week (appropriate for factories)

If Michigan companies with knowledge workers, were to require those knowledge workers to work from home even 2 days per week, by using virtual meeting places and teleconferencing, it would have a major impact for the companies, the employees, the state and our carbon footprints.

Knowledge Worker:  Requires a computer and phone to do their jobs.

Consider the following facts:

Michigan Civilian labor force 2014:  4,729,900 (5)
Per U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 4.3% of the work force already does work from home.  (6)
Knowledge workers are generally considered to be 28% to 45% of the work force. (7)
45% - 4.3% = 40.7% and let us round it down to 40% for ease of numbers. 

That means there are 1,891,960 workers that are eligible to work from home at least 2 days a week. 

With an average commute time of 25.4 minutes (6) and 20 miles (9). 
Thus the average commute is 40 mile round trip.  (9)
This average daily commute burns 1.6 gals (10) (corporate fleets average 25/miles/gal)

And there are 255 working days in the year.  Less 2 weeks vacation each. That leaves 245 working days. 


At 2 days per week  296,659,328 gallons of gasoline that would be saved

Two days a week equals 98 days/year.
Thus, 98 days X 1.6 gals X 1,891,960 workers = 296,659,328 gallons of gasoline that would be saved.

That much less traffic would lower insurance rates!

At 2 days a week,  7,416,483,200 miles that would NOT be driven on our Michigan roads in a year.

The State of Michigan and counties would benefit long term for maintenance of the roads because
the above equates to 7,416,483,200 miles that would NOT be driven on our Michigan roads in a year,
That much less wear and tear on the roads that must be maintained through public funds.

Benefit to Employees and Companies

Since the actual cost for the daily commute is approx.. $20. (9)
Companies that employ the 100% virtual, will instantly give their knowledge workers the equivalent of  $4,900/year raise. 
Companies that employ the WFH 2 days a week, will instantly give their knowledge workers the equivalent of $1960/year raise.  
Companies that employ the 4X10 work week will instantly give their employees the equivalent of  $980/year raise.  

Plus you are giving your employee a better work/life balance.

Benefit to the Company

Companies that go 100% virtual, could do away with a lot of office space.  Commercial office space isn't cheap, but going 100% virtual, would considerable reduce the need for a lot of square footage.  If the company can go to a 4X10 work week, there are very large savings for electricity and heating costs.  There are more benefits than just these.   

Question of Federal and State Tax Breaks 

Global warming is fact.  We have to reduce our carbon footprint and this is a very simple way to start.  The facts stated here are just for the state of Michigan.  Imagine if we can get the entire nation on board?  If the Federal and State governments offer tax breaks, it would certainly encourage more.  

Managing a Virtual Work Force 

There are other benefits companies can realize with a virtual workforce.  But there is also an art to managing a virtual work force.  In my next blog I will discuss the art of managing a virtual work force. 

If you need assistance with setting policy and managing a virtual workforce, please feel free to contact me directly.  

What do you think?  Please share your thoughts on this. 


1 Partners Green:
2 Michigan Municipal League:
By:  JC Reindl

5 Michigan 1990 Labor Statistics:
6  Average Commute:  with Oakland County, MI having the most motorist driving alone 85.7% of
7  The knowledge (worker) economy, Oct 1, 2005, Hugh McKellar
8  Kinja “Compare your Commute time to the rest of America’s with this interactive map”, Robbie Gonzalez, 

9 Your commute is costing you more than you realize, By Chris Taylor, NEW YORK Tue May 27, 2014 12:17pm EDT,

10 Corporate Average Fuel Economy

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