Business

Sun Microsystems supports working from home

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ten years ago Sun Microsystems started experimenting with letting some employees work from home, or anywhere but the office.

Now nearly 19,000 Sun employees work from home, and they're saving big on gas and helping save the planet.

Sun Microsystems Senior Brand Manager Lisa Fulker's commute is very short and does not involve a car.

"Unless I've got a meeting, I'm working from home," said Fulker.

The only fuel she needs is the kind she gets in her own kitchen, which is decorated with artwork by two other reasons she loves working from home fulltime -- daughters Audrey and Haley.

Fulker's work day continues after they're in bed.

"You get your job done, it's just not nine to five," said Fulker.

Fulker is one of nearly 19,000 Sun employees, that's more than half the entire workforce, who work some or all of the time away from the office.

Sun just analyzed the time, money and energy savings and found that by working from home two-and-half days a week, employees saved an average of $1,700 in gas and an average of 2.5 weeks worth of commute time.

About 29,000 metric tons of CO2 was kept out of the atmosphere and Sun estimates it saved $68 million in real estate.

"We do very much believe in face to face, just not every day," said Ann Bamesberger

Bamesberger runs the Flexible Work Program, dubbed "Open Work."

The idea was born 10 years ago when Sun predicted the Internet would change the way we work.

"The concept was let's make sure we don't overbuild because 10 years from now people are going to be working on the internet," said Bamesberger.

Even the cafeteria at Sun's Menlo Park office is considered part of the Open Work program. Employees working at stations on all Sun campuses have their files stored on a central server rather than a PC.

Of course, along with all the un-anticipated green benefits, Sun says employee job satisfaction is also through the roof.

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