The demand for flexibility in where and how employees work has been growing for decades. But it was mostly perceived as an occasional work pattern such as freelancing. In March 2020, it gained remarkable speed due to the pandemic and physical restrictions that followed. Working from home is not an occasional work pattern anymore. It is essential for business continuity and employee retention. Statistics show that 88% of the organizations worldwide encouraged or made it mandatory for their employees to work from home after the pandemic. It is an already known fact that remote working has many employee-oriented benefits. But one of the most significant benefits of remote working is its environmental impact.
Environmental Benefits of Remote Working:
Saving time, energy, and money spent arriving at an office is one of the most significant advantages of remote working. By merely just working from home, they reduce their carbon footprint. Even by using public transportation rather than an individual vehicle, you can make a difference. Now think about the effect it would have if we were to reduce most of the cars from the roads. The Global Workplace Analytics report states that remote workers emission reduced to taking 600,000 cars off the road for a year. The same report shows that working from home half the week can reduce emissions by 54 million tons every year.
Fossil fuel is used in heat, electricity, and transformation. Even after all the environmental movements pre-pandemic, a significant amount of people traveling to work were using petrol or diesel vehicles. It is a commonly known fact that fossil fluids have a considerable effect on climate change. Due to remote working, there is a massive decrease in fossil fuel consumption with the absence of individuals driving to work and then returning from work.
Big industrial workers taking their work home temporarily reduced air pollution levels around the world. Due to digitalization, there is a reduction of paper use, and one saved tree can remove up to 14.7 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air. By cutting greenhouse gas emissions, we get to increase air quality. Even though this has been a temporary effect, the amount of air pollution reduced has never been this dramatic. Many individuals directly noticed this change.
During one workday inside the office, employees use a vast amount of physical office resources. Remote working digitalizes the exchange of documents between coworkers or external partners, which means a mass reduction of paper use. Think about the amount of paper, time, and space that is saved due to digital documentation. No more print copy, label, and archive in big locked rooms! Plastic use has also decreased since employees no longer feel the need to use plastic cups from home.
The energy consumption in offices is nearly twice as high. Office spaces tend to use more energy since the office environment has requirements. An office has to have an optimal heating and cooling system, and many computer and data servers need to be available, the printing stations that are overused, and so on. All of these requirements are twice as low when employees work from home. Especially the behavior of an office worker affects consumption. An employee might not want to turn off the light as frequently as they would in their home. The studies show that every employee, who works from home, reduces energy consumption by at least 5,400 kWh every year.
Lastly, due to the time spent inside the house, individuals tend to have extra time and flexibility. Individuals get to spend more time improving themselves. As we have witnessed, individuals who spend time in their houses started gardening to expand their houses’ limitations. They started healthier diets and gained environment-friendly habits such as jogging outside rather than going to public gyms.
Studies show that By 2028, 73% of all departments will have remote workers. Big corporate companies have decided to choose remote working as much as possible, even post-pandemic. It is safe to say that remote working from home is good for the environment while having significant benefits for the employees.
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