Nepotism in the workplace may be a good thing for the environment!

Nepotism can be bad, as it overlooks talent in favor of hiring and giving preference to those who are related to the people with power. But it can also be good for the environment,

Hiring family members at the same company can help the environment

Hiring family members at the same company can help the environment

especially when family members work for the same company and share the same ride to work.  Nepotism can mean smart commuting.

Where I work, there is at least 6 different groups of people who are family members and thus commute together. In fact in one instance, there is a family of 4 (father and 3 daughters) that commute together.  In total, these make up 15 individuals, commuting in 7 cars instead of each commuting in their own cars. That is an elimination of 8 cars from the road from one company alone.  And I know most of these, all are good and qualified for the job. They weren’t qualified simply based on having a relative at the company.  They just happened to have someone who works there, who told them about the vacant job and helped them get through the door.  In other words, nepotism may help make your job search easier but it doesn’t guarantee it.

Nepotism can be extended and even encouraged at other companies and organizations.  While not sacrificing talent and other important qualifications , nepotism can co-exist with other job requirements.  Companies that care about the environment can show it by various means, whether by encouraging their employees to take public transit, in their literature or by encouraging hiring new employees that have family members at the company who will end up sharing the same commute to work.

Certainly, hiring other family members may not guarantee that they will commute together and this is something that can be discussed and brought up during the interview process. The company should make it clear that one of the reasons they would hire family members or friends is to encourage group commuting in hopes of reducing the cars on the road and in the company’s parking lot. But this is a minor issue. I doubt two people living in the same house would want to drive two cars to the same place, back and fourth. It is a waste of energy, money and even time.

Imagine how many cars we can take off the road if every company could hire up to 10% of its staff from the same family members. Literally thousands and thousands. It would be significant enough to be noticed on the road every morning and afternoon rush hour.

Nepotism has often been associated with favoritism is give a negative stigma but it doesn’t have to be. If companies can balance their hiring process, putting new emphasis on nepotism as a way to help the environment, then it is a benefit for the company and the staff.  And the word ‘nepotism’ has a negative connotation, we can replace it with something else. How about ‘workplace family building’?