Saving 313.5 Billion Wasted Minutes, 23 Minutes at a Time

“Life is not complex. We are complex. Life is simple, and the simple thing is the right thing.” – Oscar Wilde

Image: Pixomar /

In a hurried and time stressed society such as ours, what if I told you that starting tomorrow; Americans can easily save 313.5 billion minutes a year? Before you answer with a resounding ‘Heck Yeah!’, what if I tell you that this time savings increases Americas quality of life, happiness, health and productivity, and further reduces traffic congestion and dependence on foreign oil, and at the same time saves American businesses billions of dollars in office space, utilities and other expenses?

Sounds like a slam dunk right? So what are we waiting for…

According to Gallup’s annual Work and Education survey conducted in 2007, the average round trip daily commute for the American worker was 46 minutes.  This number varies widely by where you live in the country (For example, here in Northern Virginia multiply that by two or three depending on which part of metro DC you work in) . 

Now for some facts and figures.

Approximately 145,000,000 Americans working as employed or self employed. Approximately 40% of Americans (employed or self employed) could work remotely at least part of the time based upon the type of job they have. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume the average full time American worker works 47 weeks per year when accounting for vacation, holidays and sick time, and thus the average number of days worked is 235.

Whew, now that we made some assumptions, let’s run through a scenario. If every American who could work remote to some extent did so on average one day per week, the national commuting time saving would be 145,000,000  workers * 235 days * 46 Minutes * 20% which equals;

A whopping 313.5 billion minutes, or put another way 5.2 billion hours, or 217.7 million days, or 596,000 years! I’m sure you get the picture.

As an intelligent and sophisticated people, surely there must be some overarching negatives or we would already be doing this? No, not really, it’s actually just the opposite.

Let’s translate our savings into something we Americans hold near and dear, dollars.  The median US income is $46,326 and the annual potential savings in years is 596,000, so this translates into a national productivity increase of $46,323 * 596,000 = $27.6 billion dollars in salary alone (not including benefits or company costs associated with physical office space).

This figure doesn’t even include tangible savings for automobile and gasoline expenses, National, State, and local expenses on road infrastructure and maintenance, decreased dependence on foreign oil, an improved environment and so on.  And of course there are countless intangible benefits in employee health and happiness.

Remote work is a simple solution to a simple problem.

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One Response to Saving 313.5 Billion Wasted Minutes, 23 Minutes at a Time

  1. Pingback: Seven Good Reasons You Ought To Know Much More About Home Based Jobs | Remote Worker Daily

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