Quantifying the Benefits of Teleconferencing and Telecommuting

Cable media company Discovery Communications LLC " has encouraged workers to telecommute and teleconference . . . 'Thirty percent of the staff telecommutes at least one day a week,' says [CIO Dave] Kline. In 2004, Discovery installed teleconferencing systems to cut down on business travel. 'Teleconferencing has a huge ROI for us because

it's a cheaper use of people's time,' says Kline. Discovery declined to disclose exact figures, but Larry Laque, executive vice president of the company's global shared-services unit, estimates that savings are 'at least in the six figures.' " [1]

The World Wildlife Fund "uses and promotes Web collaboration systems such as SharePoint, WebEx and Citrix MetaFrame XPA. Instead of flying to WWF's Geneva offices five times a year, [CIO Greg] Smith usually opts for eight-hour videoconferences. For each trip he passes up, he estimates that he saves about $700 on plane tickets, 15 hours of travel time and $3,000 in expenses. 'I'm reducing my CO2 emissions significantly, and I'm saving time,' he explains." [2]

Health Benefits provider Wellpoint's "Dave McDonald, vice president of infrastructure support services, cites a push to substitute videoconferencing for travel as a successful green IT initiative. He says employees will spend 25,000 hours at videoconferencing this year, avoiding 4,500 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from cars and planes . . . Of videoconferencing, McDonald says, "People here were kind of scared of it. They didn't know if it was hard to do or how it worked. But once they used it, it was an easy sell." [3]

[1] Read Computerworld's Discovery case study for the full story.
[2]Read Computerworld's WWF case study for the full story.
[3] Read Computerworld's Wellpoint case study for the full story.