Remote Workers Work Harder for the Environment
TeamViewer®, one of the world’s most popular providers of remote control and online meetings software, today announced the findings of its Telecommuting for Earth survey of 500 American adult office workers aged 18 and older, conducted online by uSamp in April. The survey, which was aimed at determining the environmental impact of working from home in advance of Earth Day 2013, found that big majorities of Americans say they take proactive actions at home that they don’t take at work to save the environment, recycling and conserving things they don’t bother with in the office, including:
- Turn lights off when not in a room – 74%
- Make lunch – 60%
- Keep heating and air-conditioning low to save energy – 56%
- Print minimal amounts of paper – 53%
- Power down computer at night – 50%
- Recycle – 39%
- Avoid bottled water – 34%
The behavior is most pronounced in women, who were more likely than men to print less (59% vs. 47%), keep heating and air low (63% vs. 49%), avoid bottled water (40% vs. 28%), turn off lights (77% vs. 72%), recycle (41% vs. 37%), power down computers (51% vs. 49%) and make their own lunch (61% vs. 59%).
In addition to the behavioral differences, working from home also results in a reduction of employees’ use of planetary resources. Nearly everyone (97%) said they use fewer resources when they work from home, including gas which topped out as the resource that most Americans (86%) say they use less of, followed by printer paper (31%), electricity, markers & pencils (15%), shower water (13%) and even pain pills (12%). Interestingly, a greater percentage of men say they use less shower water (14% vs. 12.4%) and also tissues (14.4% vs. 7.6%) when they work from home.
While 31% say they use less printer paper when they work from home, overall paper waste is a long way from being eliminated. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that we use about 71 million tons of paper every year. In fact, more than half of the survey respondents said they print more than 20 pages per day, and a further 20% say it’s more than 50. While studies show that the most cost-effective waste management strategy is reduction of paper use altogether, employees at all levels continue to print paper unnecessarily, and office workers are pointing the finger. 62% of the survey respondents say it’s management and above who waste the most paper, and 8% even say it’s the CEO who prints the most.
Beyond the environmental impact of telecommuting, the study also showed that employees stand to save a significant amount of money when they are able to work from home. 42% say they save $1 - $20, 38% say they save $21 - $40, 19% say they save more than $40, and an additional 6% say they save in excess of $80 per day when they work from home.
When asked how strongly environmental concerns weigh into the decision a boss makes on whether or not to allow telecommuting, surprising numbers of them say it matters:
- 42% say the planet weighs strongly or very strongly into the equation
- 62% say at least somewhat strongly
“The study shows that not only do employees stand to save money when they are able to work from home, but the specific behavioral changes that people exhibit contribute significantly to the conservation of our environment.” said Holger Felgner, General Manager at TeamViewer. “TeamViewer works with employees by providing the ability for them to work from home without any limitation to their access to the materials and tools they use every day, in the most environmentally friendly way possible.”
Founded in 2005, TeamViewer is fully focused on the development and distribution of high-end solutions for online communication and collaboration. Available in over 30 languages, TeamViewer is one of the world’s most popular providers of remote control and online meetings software. More information: www.teamviewer.com
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.