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8 Ways Remote Work Positively Impacts the Environment

13 August 2021

Millions of people are working at home and attempting to keep out of trouble to avoid the COVID-19 Delta variant, which threatens to go full swing. The suspension of commute to work and travel last year had a wide-ranging effect on the environment. Wildlife was free to roam in places it had never been before. Waters in Venice, Italy, were cleaner than they've ever been, and CO2 and NO2 emission levels were 50% lower than in 2019. As the environment improves, the question is how businesses can take advantage of and capitalize on the new normal way of life to maintain and further these environmental improvements?

Continuing to work toward a cleaner environment and sustainable future benefits the earth and its wildlife and a business's bottom line.

Encouraging a remote or flexible work policy is the most impactful way for organizations to contribute positively to the environment. 

Reducing the time required for employees to spend commuting to and from work every day by providing a work-from-home option, especially for larger companies with hundreds or even thousands of teammates, can make a big difference. Let's take a deeper look at how working remotely can help the environment.

Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Among the most substantial advantages of working remotely is saving energy, time, and money being spent on travel to and from the office. They reduce their carbon footprint simply by working at home. You can make a real difference even if you use mass transit instead of a personal vehicle. Consider what would happen if we removed the majority of automobiles from the roads. According to a report, remote workers' emissions are equivalent to taking 600,000 vehicles off the road for a year. Also, according to the report, working from home 50 percent the week can cut emissions by 54 million tons per year.

Decreased Fossil Fuel Consumption

Fossil fuels are critical contributors to climate change. We use them not only for heating and electricity but also for transportation. Petroleum products account for 90% of all transportation fuel, so consider how much fuel a single individual uses on a 30-minute commute to work. Twice per day. Every week for five days. If only half of those commuting workers could work remotely every other day, the world will be a better place.

Mature wife holding a glass of wine and husband cooking at the stove in the kitchen

Minimized Food and Plastic Waste

When you work at home, you're only a few feet away from the kitchen, where you can make tea or coffee, prepare meals, and avoid using single-use plastic food packages, bottles, or utensils. When working from an office, the temptation and convenience factor is much greater. It's impossible to keep up with reliable numbers to demonstrate the amount of extra plastic waste. However, it stands to reason that remote workers are highly likely to use reusable dishware, proper coffee maker and prepare their meals without additional packaging. This reduces the use of disposables, which are major contributors to the world's plastic crisis.

Better Air Quality

If we can reduce the amount of gas emitted by mass transit to work each day, we will improve air quality. Consider metropolises such as Delhi or Beijing, which are plagued by smog daily. More people get killed by air pollution than by malaria, HIV, and influenza combined. To be more specific: Each year, over 3.3 million die due to the repercussions of poor air quality. Highway automobiles alone account for nearly 35% of total nitrogen dioxide emissions. These emissions have been linked to the exacerbation of respiratory diseases such as asthma and infections.

Decreased Office Supplies Use

Employees use an extensive range of physical office resources in a single workday. Telecommuting digitizes the exchange of files between work colleagues or project participants, resulting in a significant reduction in paper consumption. Consider how much paper, time, and space is saved as a result of digital record keeping. No more printing, labeling, and archiving in large cabinets. We'd probably be more frugal about it if we all started to work from home and use our printer when necessary. Working online reduces the need to discard 247 trillion sheets of paper each year.

Turn signal. Save electricity.

Lowered Power Consumption

Offices consume nearly twice as much energy as homes. Because of the necessities of the workplace setting, office spaces tend to use more power. An office must have an optimized air conditioning and heating system and numerous computer and data servers, overworked printing stations, etc. When employees work remotely, all of these prerequisites are reduced by a factor of two. Consumption is influenced by the actions of office workers in particular. Employees may not want to switch off the lights as regularly as they do at home. According to studies, every employee who works from home saves at least 5,400 kWh per year on energy usage.

Reduced Infrastructure Impact

During rush hours, the roads are frequently congested. This increases gas consumption and carbon emissions. Furthermore, heavy traffic increases the level and severity of damage done to major highways. As a result, there is a more need for repair work and expansions.

Small-Town Development Stimulation

For the vast majority of people, the primary reason for relocating to a big city is likely to be better employment opportunities. They try to reduce routine commute time by putting up with higher living and rental expenses. If they were given the opportunity to work remotely, most of them would surely move out of the city and relocate to more reasonably-priced suburban or rural places. In reality, at least 27 percent of Americans hoped they could live in the country but must remain in the city for work. It isn't just less expensive, has much less noise and light pollution, and has healthier air quality; it could also be a more excellent place for children to grow up. Small towns that are experiencing a high fluctuation of newer generations are allowed to develop. Urban areas have the potential to become more environmentally friendly and less overpopulated. Urbanization accounts for up to 5% of total greenhouse gas emissions, with deforestation being one of the causes.

Seiffen Laminated Spliced L-shaped Standing Desk

Eco Tip:

Suppose you are looking into transitioning your workforce to a flexible or remote work arrangement and are even considering getting them workstations to encourage productivity and morale while still ensuring being eco-friendly. In that case, bamboo is a material perfect for these requirements. We all know standing desks have been all the rage these days in the workplace industry. Even huge companies such as Google and Apple have tapped into the standing desk benefits of preventative health and well-being for both office and remote workers. Check out this sustainable and ergonomic standing desk option fit for any remote work employee:

Eco-friendly furniture is better for the environment and safer for you and your family. 

When choosing eco furniture made with little to no chemicals, you'll get fewer toxic substances discharged into your home's air, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Even in the aftermath of a pandemic, large businesses have decided to prioritize flexible working as much as possible. It is safe to assume that working at home is beneficial to the environment while also offering additional benefits to employees. In the future, we ought to rethink how we work.