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HUMAN RESOURCES

It's Earth Day. Yawn

Maybe the best thing you can do for the earth is to send everyone home--to work.
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We like to talk about being green, sustainable development, and heaven knows I had to argue with my 4th grader that even if she ate the tuna sandwich I packed in her lunch she would not be personally accountable for the extinction of the majestic tuna.

So, why do your employees apparently not care much about the environment when it comes to your office? TeamViewer has a new survey out that shows that your employees don't think about the environment once they step over your doorstep.

74 percent don't turn lights off when they leave the room

60 percent don't make their own lunch

53 percent don't make an effort to minimize printer usage

50 percent don't power down their computer

39 percent don't recycle

34 percent don't avoid bottled water

The interesting thing is that these are people who do all that stuff at home. They just don't think about it when it's on someone else's dime.

So, what is TeamViewer's solution if you really want to make your company go green? Let your employees telecommute. Nearly all employees (97 percent) say they use fewer resources when working from home, including gas (86 percent), printer paper (31 percent), electricity, markers and pencils (15 percent), shower water (13 percent) and even pain pills (12 percent).

Is the environmental impact worth having your employees work from home? As the woman who bought the tuna in the first place, I'm not the best person to answer that question. But, if it's a value that you want your company to hold (and going green may not be optional in the future, according to my Inc.com colleague, Jeff Haden), it may be worth looking into.

Even if you're paying for the paper and the printer and the ink, when it's magically filled by an office manager or admin, people don't think about it--not as much as they do when they have to fill it and buy the ink themselves.

I'm a bit frightened by the less shower water usage, as it gives into the stereotype of the work from home employee sitting in his bathrobe with three days of beard growth. But, as long as they aren't client facing, does it matter?

Are you celebrating Earth Day?

IMAGE: Flickr
Last updated: Apr 22, 2013

SUZANNE LUCAS | Columnist

Suzanne Lucas spent 10 years in corporate human resources, where she hired, fired, managed the numbers, and double-checked with the lawyers.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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