Something which often surprises business owners is the fact that remote working is one of the biggest things we can do to reduce our carbon footprint.
By reducing or removing the need for your team to travel into a physical office every day, your employees will be making a huge reduction in the amount of carbon emissions they produce. This is also particularly beneficial for working mothers who need every extra minute they can get! So let’s discuss exactly how remote working benefits the environment.
Reduced paper waste
By not being in a physical office, companies often find that their workforce becomes much more conscious about their material waste. Unsurprisingly, people are more mindful of what they print when it’s being printed onto their own paper. Also due to the very nature of remote working, businesses who have satellite employees need to be capable of running all their day to day management purely online. Having everything centralised in an online hub makes it easier for your team to keep track of day to day activities and updates, particularly if they work part-time or having flexible working hours.
Reduced energy usage
Businesses with entirely remote teams are likely to use far less energy than those who come together in a physical location every day. Central offices have a larger floor spaces and require artificial lighting even during daylight hours, whereas remote workers can rely on the natural light or even work outdoors. Large offices also tend to have high heating and air conditioning needs too, of which a home office space is likely to be a tiny fraction.
Ability to create a much greener office
Environmentally conscious employees can create a much greener office space in their own home than they can in a communal office. They can, for example, choose to use energy-saving bulbs or recycled paper, as well as having more freedom to create vegan or vegetarian meals for lunch. The ability to work from home is a huge plus for meal planning too, meaning working parents can feed their families much more easily and reduce food waste.
More time for environmental work
Rather than sitting in a traffic jam for an hour on their way to work, or setting off an hour early to allow for train delays, working from home allows working mothers to spend this extra time giving back to the environment in a way that suits their schedule. Whether through teaching their children about climate change and the importance of environmental issues, or even just taking out the recycling, these are all things which they have more time for when working from home. This time can even be used for gardening or setting up a vegetable patch to help switch to local, home-grown produce.
As public awareness of environmental issues continues to rise, and working parents grow to expect jobs to offer a form of flexible working, businesses would do well to bear in mind the many ways which remote working can benefit their company culture and employee loyalty, as well as their carbon footprint.
About the author
Alex Tebbs is the co-founder of the unified communications company, VIA. His entire working life has been spent in telecommunications and he specialises in helping businesses transform their working practises.