With Covid-19 came the normalization of remote working. The need for social distancing meant that you could not work from conventional workspaces and offices. But, this change in our work life has proven to have more pros than cons. Remote working gave a little more control to the employees over their work life. It gave them more time to spend with their loved ones and provided them a new perspective to approach their work. Along with providing advantages on a personal level, remote working has proven to be more sustainable than the daily commute.
Global warming is one of the world’s most pressing problems nowadays. A lot of organizations and companies have been investing millions of dollars to reduce their carbon footprint and to switch their unsustainable operations to more environment-friendly options. Remote working has been a huge part of this shift for most businesses. Here are a few benefits of remote work regarding sustainability:
1. Less Pollution
Traveling to and from every single day requires quite the amount of fuel, and when you add the figures of the total population, the acquired numbers make the damage caused by vehicle pollution incomprehensible. Remote working can reduce the levels of pollution significantly. Several studies have shown improved air quality after the lockdown was imposed. This means we can easily reduce our carbon footprint simply by choosing to work remotely.
Lesser commuting also means reduced travel expenses. Whether you have a car or you use public transport, daily commuting takes out a significant amount from your paycheck. Working remotely eliminates the need for daily commute thus reducing the cost spent on gas or transport tickets.
Even as an individual remote worker, you can make a difference. According to Global Workplace Analytics, remote working has reduced emissions which equal to about taking 600,000 cars off the road. Other than that by working from home, you reduce the use of electricity, heating, and gasoline, thus conserving our fossil fuel reserves.
2. Reduced Need And Demand Office Spaces
Large offices and workspaces create a huge carbon footprint as it usually requires more people for an office to function properly. Remote working has reduced the need for every employee to attend the office and only a small number of people are needed at the office daily. This means companies and organizations don’t need to acquire huge offices that occupy a lot of space. This saves money, reduces the consumption of resources, reduces carbon footprint, and maintains or sometimes even improves productivity.
3. Less Consumption Of Energy
Home offices require less energy than conventional offices for the same amount of work. People are more aware of their energy consumption in home offices because they have to pay for it themselves. Energy consumption is observed even with small changes. In home offices, we turn off our lights at night, shut down our computers, and use resources like water and heating carefully.
4. Facilitates Population Distribution
Remote work aids in population distribution as it eliminates the requirement of living closer to work. After taking up remote working, a lot of workers have started moving from main cities and metropolitan areas to reduce their living expenses. Since remote work has eliminated the need for offices and worker collaboration, it means that you can work from pretty much anywhere as long as you have an access to a stable internet connection.
Spreading out the population means there will a reduction in population density in big cities, which in turn will reduce the stress in terms of traffic jams, consumption of resources, noise, and pollution. Population distribution may also help resolve the housing crisis in big cities.
5.Reduces Paper Consumption
In remote working, almost all documents are digitized which has led to reduced paper usage. By eliminating the need for hard copies of documents, paper consumption can be minimized. Remote working can reduce the mass deforestation of the planet.
6.Decreases Consumption Of Single-Use Plastic
In tackling the ocean plastic crisis the first step in reducing the use of single-use plastic. Office workers use a ridiculous amount of single-use plastics, from plastic containers to the packaging of office supplies. Remote working has also solved this problem. At home, you don’t need to use plastic containers for food and drinks and offices supplies are not needed that much in a home office.
Remote working has proven to be much more sustainable compared to the conventional way of working. It provides countless advantages to workers on both individual and collective levels. During the lockdown, most of us were not happy about working from home. But, now a lot of us prefer remote work. Several companies around the world have also comprehended its benefits and now encourage their employees to work remotely. Along with providing employee-oriented benefits, remote-working also helps businesses reduce their carbon footprint.