The pandemic has pretty much ended but one major takeaway from it was remote working. During COVID, businesses worldwide had to shift over to remote working since social interaction was banned in almost every part of the world. Employees were forced to work remotely from their homes but even now, when the pandemic has ended, remote working is still very much popular all over the world
People who have been working remotely have benefitted from it. It has been shown that employees working from home could enjoy a better work-life balance, had less stress in their lives, and benefited from lower expenses but what about the environment? Is working remotely beneficial for the environment?
Although employees enjoy the benefits of remote working, there are some environmental benefits too. When people work remotely, it leads to fewer people traveling to offices which results in decreased air and water pollution because of fewer fossil fuel consumptions, less power consumption, and less usage of office supplies. Below we have discussed some reasons that explain how remote working is beneficial for the environment:
Reduced Greenhouse Gasses Emission And Fossil Fuel Consumption
This is the most obvious environmental benefit of remote working, the emission of greenhouse gasses is reduced along with the consumption of fossil fuel. When employees have to wake up and work from their homes without going to the office, it reduces fossil fuel consumption and emission of greenhouse gasses significantly as they won’t have to travel to the office.
Remote working reduces cars on the road and it is estimated that working from home half the week can reduce emissions by 54 million tons annually. Similarly, with remote working, there is less power consumption since employees are working from their homes and not offices which reduces electricity consumption. Although it might increase the electricity costs of individual homes, these costs are always less than the costs of commercial offices and buildings.
Less Air Traveling
With remote working, there is no need for air traveling too. One of the major causes of air pollution is air traveling, which comes second to the oil and gas industries. Statistics show that the aviation industry is responsible for more than 2% of global CO2 emissions and it is expected that this number will only increase in years to come as air travel will become popular.
Remote working during the pandemic taught everyone that you can do business meetings without having to travel around the world. With the help of various online video conferencing software and apps, you can set virtual meetings and join meetings anywhere in the world with just a few clicks.
Remote working has made everyone realize that the internet houses so many powerful tools through which you can continue your business activities without traveling anywhere. It has also made people realize that there are digital alternatives available for almost everything, you just need to look for them. For instance, we have digital alternatives like Solitaire available for card games, digital documents like PDF and Word for paper documents, etc.
With fewer people being dependent on air traveling, the CO2 emission can be reduced substantially which would really benefit the environment.
Usage Of Office Supplies Is Reduced
When employees are working remotely, the usage of office supplies also reduces substantially which is beneficial for the environment as well as the company. During a single workday in a crowded office, employees use a wide variety of office supplies and resources.
It could be anything, from paper to disposable utensils to cleaning supplies to furniture. At offices, people are not very mindful of resources, whether it is paper or plastic but at home, they are less likely to use supplies excessively. These office supplies can add up to produce huge amounts of waste.
With remote working, the usage of office supplies and resources is reduced by a huge margin. While working from their homes, employees no longer use paper documents, instead, they use digital documents which results in a mass reduction of paper usage. Similarly, the usage of disposable cups and plates is also reduced. Even employees play their favorite mid-work games like Cards, Spider Solitaire, etc on their computers.
This mass reduction in the usage of paper and other supplies is certainly beneficial to the environment since so much carbon emission and power usage are associated with the production of these supplies.
Improved Air Quality
With all of this, the air quality is improved. With remote working, there are fewer cars on the road, a reduction in paper and disposable products usage, there is less cutting down of trees, and less emission of greenhouse gasses. All of these things add up to reduce air pollution levels around the world.
A business that shifts to remote working or hybrid working systems can also reduce its carbon footprint on the environment and use this as a marketing strategy to gain more customers since people are now becoming more environmentally conscious and prefer green & eco-friendly products and brands.