Home Office Eco-Nomics: The Eco Benefits of Working from Home

Working at home is good for you and the planet.

| November/December 2005

home office set-up

Working at home offers you the flexibility to create a healthy workspace.

Photo By Groovymarlin/Courtesy Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/groovymarlin/)

One in four working Americans is a freelancer, subcontractor or owner of a microcorporation (a business with one or two people), according to Daniel Pink in Free Agent Nation (Warner Books, 2002). Stay-at-home workers increase their personal time and reduce their environmental impact by foregoing a commute and using extra space at home (thereby saving resources that go into a traditional office). Some key ingredients in a work-at-home lifestyle include:

Calling the shots. You have maximum operational control with a home business. You can choose recycled or chlorine-free hemp paper, ensure all your paper gets to the recycling center, and purchase Energy Star-qualified office equipment to optimize efficiency.

Creating a healthy workspace. Take measures ranging from using nontoxic wall paint to installing compact fluorescent light bulbs. Stock your kitchen with organic fruits and vegetables for better lunches.

Taking advantage of off-peak times. With a flexible work schedule, you can run errands and complete tasks during offpeak hours. You’ll avoid traffic, save time and reduce stress.

Capitalizing on deductions. When part of your home is devoted exclusively to business, you can deduct a portion of rent and utilities for its use.

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