Written by Lori Thiessen

Corporations, large and small, are adopting a green attitude. They are considering their carbon footprint and the environmental impact of running their businesses (e.g. Paper consumption, heating and air-conditioning the office, etc.). Part of this ‘greening’ is downsizing or completely getting rid of a central office.

What this means is that there are fewer people driving to their offices or using buses, ergo a lower carbon emissions. Using a coffee shop close to home as an alternative office keeps a java commuter green and gives him a place to go when the four walls of home are threatening to close in.

As an added benefit, Revenue Canada allows the entrepreneur and the teleworker (java commuter to you and I) a certain tax deductions for working from home so long as the home workspace usage meets certain criteria. Check out InnoVisions Canada (IVC), which is dedicated to promoting teleworking and flexible work schedules, for more information. http://www.ivc.ca/taxes.html.

Yet, if I can play the devil’s advocate for a moment, I can see a few flaws with this wonderful plan. There is the carbon footprint of the coffee shop for a start. All that electricity and heat to make buckets of “fuel” for the 24/7 workforce has a certain environmental impact. We could even take a step back and look at coffee bean farming and its environmental impact but this falls a bit out of the scope of this blog.

The more environmentally aware java commuter will bring his or her own ceramic mug or travel mug, but there are those who still prefer the wax-covered cardboard cup which lands in the landfill.

Even though the corporation may save money on running a centralized office, does this mean that the remote will be paying instead? If you are at home all day, it costs to keep the heat up, electricity on plus having to supply whatever office supplies yourself, especially a printer, ink and paper.

Going to a coffee shop can save the java commuter the cost of running a home office. And at approximately $5.00/cup per hour for a 7.5 hour per day, it is a pretty dang good deal.

Q: Do environmental considerations figure into your choice of using a coffee shop as your alternative office?

Thanks for dropping by and I’ll save your seat until next time!