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This page last edited on

09 August, 2008

Habitat

 

Work form Home

 

 

NEW! A comments section has been added to the bottom of this page. Please feel free to exercise your right to free speech and let us all know your thoughts on working from home.  Feel free to share your own work from home experiences.

 

   Working form home is not only a pleasure for me but now a necessity.  I've worked from home since 1995 so I could no longer even work in a building and all that goes along with it like getting ready to leave every morning, driving in the grid lock traffic of south Florida, being cooped up with people all day in an office setting and most of all, being away from home all day and my beloved animals.

 

  As seen from the photo on the left, my dear Abby (Aristotle) is almost part of my desk these days. As you can see, he seems so content and at home on the desk its a little unbelievable.  Most guinea pigs would never be so relaxed as to lay down on the desk like Abby does. In fact, he absolutely loves to be on the desk with me and usually walks all around the desk and seems to enjoy his visit with me. He usually jumps on the printer and sits on it for a few seconds, then jumps down and runs on the desk and usually walks on my keyboard messing everything all up! Its amazing how much weird stuff happens when he walks on the keyboard! I usually have to figure out how to undue the damage he's done but nothing has ever been so egregious that I couldn't undue what he did.  At this point I could never imagine not being home all day and having the luxury to see my animals whenever I want and mostly having them visit me on my desk. I really love having Abby visit me and I know in my heart that he loves visiting me on the desk as much as I love having him visit.  I put hay down on a towel for him and he also enjoys sharing pretzels and crackers with me for a treat. 

 

  I've included this page on working from home in the habitat section because I've realized that it is actually environmental to work from home versus going out everyday and working in a building. I realize that many jobs cannot be performed in a home office environment but if you are able to pull it off I believe that it is a very important step in helping the environment. I also realize that even if your job duties would allow you to work from home that your boss or company may not allow it. That is something that you would have propose to your boss and/or company and negotiate the particulars to see if they would allow a trial period to see if it is a viable option. There are many websites that offer advise on negotiating working from home along with tips on setting up a home office and dealing with the potential problems that go along with working from home.  I won't go into all that here, rather my purpose is to share the environmental aspects of working from home, something that most website would probably not list.

 

 

 

  I will say however, that you should remember that if you are allowed to work from home by your employer, you must do the work they are expecting and you must act like you are at the office. Working from home is a privilege NOT a right! You must respect that sentiment or it will not work. Yakking on the phone all day or going shopping or to the beach at your pleasure during work hours is not conducive to your employer or your employment! Many people cannot handle the isolation or lack of direction because the boss is not a few doors or cubicles away.  Some people, like me, are the opposite and thrive in isolation without much direction because they are goal oriented and don't need constant supervision to get the job done. I also don't need people around me to prove my self worth and I do not get lonely so working from home is an excellent fit for me. Because we live with telephones, email and the internet, communicating with your boss and/or company is never a problem, even if you are away from your home office. These days many people have what I call "gadgets" (I don't have any but a cell phone that is rarely used) such as iPhones, Blackberries, etc. that allow them to stay in touch without being tied to the home office. You don't even need a fax machine to have a fax number because there are plenty of companies that offer plans with fax numbers that are completely paperless by using the internet and email (I love my account on www.trustfax.com)

 

Environmental & financial aspects of working form home

 

 

1.

Less driving = gas $avings:

 

 

  Obviously if your longest commute in the morning is from your bed to your home office than the only gas you are using is from your own body's energy supply!  You may emit some gas along the walk but hey, you're all alone so only you and the dog will know! I couldn't possibly compute the amount of money you would $ave on gas by working from home but suffice it to say its literally going to be a sizable chunk of change these days when gas is on average $4 a gallon nationally. You will also have less wear and tear on your vehicle which will make it last longer and won't end up in a junkyard sooner than if you used it everyday. You will also avoid having to buy a new vehicle earlier as well, decreasing the energy spent on creating a new vehicle. Your gas $avings will probably be the largest noticeable benefit in working from home and one that will happily keep you working from home even if you find yourself ready to stab your eyes out with a pen due to isolation syndrome!  

 

2.

Less carbon foot print:

 

  With less cars on the road there will be less of a carbon footprint. Most Americans do NOT carpool or use mass transportation to get to and from their jobs so if more people began to work from home it would have an even larger positive impact than if we lived in a society where the majority of workers used mass transportation and/or carpooled. So I see an area that would have a noticeable positive impact on the environment as a result of an increase of home workers.

 

  Despite being home all day and using your home office equipment, and possibly the television, you still significantly reduce your carbon footprint by severely curtailing your daily driving. If your office equipment is relatively new than it is all energy star compliant further reducing the amount of energy it consumes than earlier models. And by being home you can open up your doors and windows and turn off your air conditioner instead of having it on while because your house is all locked up while you are gone. Also by using a clothes line you will further reduce your electricity usage which will reduce your carbon foot print as well.

 

3.

Less usage of utilities:

A) Water

 

B) Electricity

 

 

 

 

 

 

     

  If you no longer need to get all gussied up to face the world every day you won't need to take a shower and wash your hair everyday so your water bill should be lower. Since your using less hot water, the hot water tank will not be heating as much water either so your electric or gas bill will go down depending on what the heater runs on.

 

  If you aren't washing and fixing your hair everyday for the workforce then you may not be using your hair blow dryer, cutting down on that electrical expenditure as well.  Not to mention the lights that won't be turned on to get all the beautification done. By being home all day you can set your air conditioning at a higher setting such as 82 degrees (mine is set at 85 degrees even in hot south Florida) because you get used to the temperature and its helpful when going outside when the air hits you like a ton of bricks! But what really $aves on your electric bill is to have your windows and/or patio doors open and turn your air conditioning off like I do a majority of the time. Because I live in a house constructed of concrete block and stucco (CBS) the house keeps cooler than houses constructed of wood or brick and siding. I realize that the majority of houses in the United States are not made of CBS but they are also in the northern part of the country that does not have the length of warm weather we have here in south Florida.  Because I am able to be home all day and keep the doors or windows open, my electric bills are substantially lower than my neighbors by upwards of $120 less a month! By being home all day I don't need to lock up my house and thus have the air conditioning on. This is a huge $avings to me and a big reason to work from home.

 

  By being home all day your can hang your clothes out to dry on a clothes line rather than put them in the dryer. I know you could do that on the weekends when you are home but lets face it, weekends are busy enough and often times you stick the clothes in the dryer because its faster than taking the time to hang them on a line outside. If you get up early enough and get your wash done before 8:00 AM your will $ave energy costs and then if you hang the clothes on a line outside you will $ave a lot of energy and reduce your carbon footprint and electricity bills!

 

  Furthermore, if you don't need to put on a different outfit everyday to go to work outside the house you should reduce the amount of clothes that need to be washed. As long as you are into the groove of not taking a shower every day you might as well as get into the habit of wearing the same clothes two days in a row. Who's going to know? Yes, hygiene might slip while working from home but just think of all the money you are $aving!

 

4.

Less usage of toiletries and makeup:

 

 

  As a result of less showering you will cut down on your use of soap, shampoo, conditioner, perfume and lotion, and depending on how liberated you are, deodorant, mouthwash and and toothpaste! Believe me, after working form home for a period of time all personal hygiene and vanity quickly vanish when laziness sets in due to the lack of being seen by anything other than a "person" that barks or gweeks! Believe me, they could care less what I smell like and actually the dog seems to love me more when snuggly with something that smells as "doggy" as he does!

 

  Because you will be using less toiletries your carbon footprint will be less since you will buying less bottles of toiletries over time - thus reducing the energy needed to make the products and the containers that house them. The plastic bottles that contain the toiletries are comprised of oil, another reason to use as few as possible, even though I know you now recycle like a good steward of the planet!

 

  And you won't have any reason to put makeup on so you'll $ave on that too, not to mention the time it takes to put all that stuff on anyway. Once you get used to your new low maintenance personal care regimen you'll never miss the insane routine you used to go through!  You can always put makeup on just to feel "normal" again every once in a while. You can even take a shower, get dressed up and the put makeup on if you need a pick-me-up. There is nothing wrong with that but being able to work from home allows you to work in any way that is most comfortable for you and that usually involves $aving money! Yeah!

 

5.

Using your internet connection:

 

  You more than likely have a high speed internet connection that isn't being used very much at home. Why not make use of it since its been plugged in all the time anyway?  You are not using any extra energy by using the connection since its already plugged in. You will use extra energy by having your computer on though but with energy efficient computers these days the energy they use is a lot less than it was even a few years ago. Chances are you have an energy star compliant computer so its not going to increase your electricity by much. I have my computer on 12-16 hours a day five days a week and my electricity bills are still much lower than all my neighbors who work outside of the home.

 

6.

$aving on food:

  By being at home for lunch time there is no need to go out to lunch, thereby saving money on gas and food. Raid the fridge and grab some leftovers or make a sandwich from whatever is available. Or you can just walk out into the garden and pick your own lunch! By not wasting as much food as you might if you worked outside the home, you also lower your carbon footprint by reducing the amount of produce and other food you buy that has been shipped all over the country to reach your store's shelves.

 

  By being at home already you won't need to use plastic  containers or ziploc bags and paper or plastic bags to tote your lunch in. This will reduce the amount of ziploc bags you will need to buy and use and will reduce the amount of containers you need to wash. Eating food up that would normally get spoiled or thrown out will ease your conscience and fatten your wallet!

 

7.

$ave on clothes & shoes:

  Being able to dress like a slob if you care to is your prerogative since no one will be seeing you unless your boss insists on video conferencing. Even then you can fool them by doing what the TV anchors do and dress up from the top only. But seriously, you can substantially reduce your expenditures for clothing by working from home which will reduce your carbon footprint even more because the energy involved for producing and shipping of clothes is tremendous, especially since almost all clothing sold in the United States is now made overseas and must be shipped across the globe to get here. Even if you need to purchase clothes, please get them from garage sales or thrift shops where they are being recycled which is not only good for the environment but good for the organizations or families that are selling them!  The same applies for shoes which are also mostly made outside of the United States, mainly in China.

 

8.

$ave on gadgets:

 

 

  Since you will be home most of the time you may not need to spend money on gadgets like iPhones, cell phones or Blackberries. Not only are the units expensive but so are the monthly plans. You will already be close to a phone, whether a land line or an internet based phone line like Vonage and you will be on top of your email and the internet while sitting in your home office so chances are you may not need the gadgets so many people say they cannot live without. By not having these gadgets your reduction of a carbon footprint is probably negligible but the financial $savings are really worthwhile!  You can get an internet based fax number account so you don't even need a fax machine to be able to send and receive faxes. If you need to fax printed documents chances are you have a scanner already so make use of it, otherwise you can fax computer generated files quite easily without using any paper whatsoever, further reducing your carbon footprint and usage of trees! What a win-win situation!  You can also use an internet based phone service like Vonage which is a lot cheaper than a land line these days. It already uses your internet connection so it is actually very environmentally friendly I think. The only drawback is that if the electricity and/or internet go out than you won't have a phone. Then you need a back up like a cell phone but since most people have a cell phone anyway its not that big of a deal.

 

9.

$ave on your taxes:

 

 

  Be sure to follow all IRS rules regulating the use of a home office but if you are allowed to take the tax deduction of a home office that will further increase your love affair with working from home! I've not only $aved plenty of $$$ over the years from all the reasons listed above, but I've gotten a very nice tax refund every year I've worked from home as a result of my home office deduction and I've never been audited! Yeah!

  As long as you have written proof from your employer that they require you to work from home you should not have any problems - that is one of the requirements of being able to claim a home office deduction. You also need to put your home office in it's own room. You can find out what the rules are for a home office by contacting the IRS or visiting their website. A professional tax consultant can help you file the necessary forms when you do your taxes but you can also use tax software like I do and it is relatively easy to do by yourself. I would recommend using a tax consultant the first time you file your return using a home office deduction and then after that you should be able to do it yourself.

 

Common theme with most of these tips is that you reduce your carbon footprint AND $ave $$$$$!

 

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COMMENTS SECTION

I have allowed all of you who have read through this thesis of mine on working from home and the reasons why it $aves you $$$ to add your comments.  I welcome your comments and your own experiences of working from home. Perhaps you can offer some cost saving benefits of your own - I would love to hear them!  I welcome all that you have to say as long as you say it in a civil manner without being nasty and profane. I will delete all comments I deem inappropriate and offensive. That having said, you are entitled to free speech and whether you agree with what I wrote or not, you are entitled to speak your mind here so long as it is not offensive. NOTE:  Your email address will not be displayed and it will not be shared, rented, sold or given out in any manner to any person, organization or entity.

 

Thank you all for your comments!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DISCLAIMER:  This website was set up to SHARE my OWN experience with my reptiles, guinea pigs, ponds/fish, gardens and local wildlife and to post pictures and video of them. It was NOT SET UP to offer my opinion or expertise on ANY QUESTION that I am asked and what I post on this website should not be taken as "EXPERT ADVISE" or how to take care of reptiles, guinea pigs, ponds/fish, gardens or local wildlife. I AM NOT A REPTILE RESCUE GROUP, GUINEA PIG RESCUE GROUP, VETERINARIAN, REPTILE EXPERT, GUINEA PIG EXPERT, PONDS/FISH EXPERT, GARDEN EXPERT OR WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR! I have limited experience with reptiles, guinea pigs, local wildlife, ponds/fish and gardens, therefore, I am NOT QUALIFIED to give out advise or answer questions and you, as a visitor to this website, should not take anything on this website as expert advise or accurate information.  I present this website for fun and fun only - NOT as a reference website to instruct anyone on how to properly take care of reptiles, guinea pigs, local wildlife, ponds/fish or gardens.  I share how I DO THINGS for my reptiles, guinea pigs, local wildlife, ponds/fish and gardens and this is not intended for others to take as expert advise or to mimic. Furthermore, my political views are my own and not intended to offend, annoy, hurt or demean any person, entity or organization. I express my views as an American who has the right to free speech under the Constitution of the United States of America. Please feel free to set up your own website and express your views, post your pictures and video and share with the rest of us in cyberspace what your little corner of the world is like. Thank you very much for your kind understanding in appreciating the value and contents of this website.

 

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