Home, Sweet Home Office

In the New Year, consider a home office to go green and save money.

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The Wall Street Journal wrote yesterday about the numerous benefits of working from home, which I'll reiterate here: saving money on transportation, having a more relaxed work environment with flexible hours, getting a tax-write off, and working in your pajamas, of course. But they neglected to mention that working from home is good for the environment, as well.

It's something that I discussed with Christine Esposito, president of Terracom Public Relations, for an article about saving money by going green in our upcoming personal finance magazine issue. Christine moved her business into her home, and estimates that she saves several thousand dollars a year as a result. She no longer has to worry about a commute in Chicago's snowy winters. She saves money on gas, and has shrunk her carbon footprint. She's found the practice to be especially good for her green PR firm.

"If you're a green business in particular, it not only saves you money but supports your green brand," said Esposito. "It's one way to walk your green talk." Esposito said that working from home can feel isolated at times, but loving the space that she's created for her office—which is on a separate floor from the living space in her home—and the time and money she saves makes it all worthwhile.

You don't have to be an entrepreneur to work from home and reap financial and environmental benefits. It's easy to stay connected to your office through conference calls, webcams, and frequent email check-ins. If you have a traditional office job and are worried about losing touch with your office, you might consider asking you boss for permission to work from home only one or two days a week. If you're an entrepreneur, or self-employed, and worried about the price of outfitting your home with expensive equipment, consider coworking, an office-sharing arrangement.


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