How does workplace flexibility impact climate change?
During the two years of the pandemic, news media and common people alike were quick to report how the environment had started slowly rebuilding itself with many of the cities gaining back parts of the vegetation that they had lost during their urbanisation. Moreover, there were reportedly more flowers to be seen on trees and plants, and more butterflies and birds started showing up as a result of these. It was really awe-inspiring to watch the climatic impact that a few months of WFH had done on the environment.
This was, however, quickly replaced back again by urbanisation by the time the work from home was concluded by many countries and people started travelling more and thereby increased their carbon footprint. While a few companies realised the viability of working from home, many were quick to point out the issues of a completely remote model.
Still, the advantages of remote work have led many employers to realise that the future workplace can be flexible and may be created to benefit both the employer and the employee. Remote working has not only contributed to workplace flexibility but also has led to a positive environmental impact.
Let's examine the most notable pros of remote work for the environment.
Decreased greenhouse gas emissions
One of the most important benefits of workplace flexibility is the reduction in time, effort, and expense associated with travelling to an office. Working from home eliminates commuting, which saves time and money on transportation. Additionally, you can lessen your carbon footprint by working from home.
Lower emission of greenhouse gases eventually results from fewer travellers. The amount of gas emitted will be significantly reduced if all employees begin working from home even half the time each week.
Lower energy usage
Compared to working as an employee for a company, workplace flexibility uses less energy as you are operating remotely. Companies and their workers use a lot of energy in their everyday operations, from transportation and infrastructure to office equipment and cooling systems. A flexible work environment provides a practical means of lowering energy demand and utilisation worldwide.
Since fewer people are driving to and from work, there is a significant reduction in the usage of fossil fuels as a result of remote working. BusinessEnergy.com claims that companies can use up to 250,000 kWh annually as compared to an average household generally using 10,972 kWh of electricity per annum.
These numbers demonstrate that workplace flexibility provides an employment choice that is viable for lowering global demand for energy and consumption.
Reduces office supplies usage
The number of practical office supplies used by employees in a single workday is enormous. The circulation of papers among employees or outside partners is digitised through workplace flexibility, resulting in a significant decrease in the use of paper. Consider how much time, space, and paper are saved by digital documenting. No further large, sealed rooms for print copies, labels, and archives!
Hence, working from home reduces a lot of waste, thereby having a good environmental impact.
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Boosts energy effectiveness
Fossil fuels are the primary source of energy in the modern world. Around 85% of the energy used worldwide is derived from non-renewable sources. Given that fossil fuels will soon run out, this has led to friction between nations all over the world.
But if we as a whole community can cut back on energy use through work-from-home jobs, this will culminate in environmental sustainability. Also, nations will become even more energy-efficient, which will save big bucks.
Aside from modifications to the commute to work, possible adjustments to emissions resulting from professional travel in hybrid environments will also be important.
Upgrades health and safety
Nitrogen oxide, a dangerous gas that contributes to diseases like heart and lung disease, is released during travel. Therefore, workplace flexibility requires fewer people to drive to work, which leads to fewer illnesses and diseases and happier individuals, communities, and society as a whole.
In hindsight, working remotely allows you to choose your place of operation. This in turn helps you stay safe during any climatic emergencies or disastrous conditions.
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Despite the fact that the coronavirus outbreak forces people to work from home at the moment, the environment will undoubtedly experience unanticipated benefits. This has not only simplified workplace flexibility but has also given people the opportunity to have a positive impact on the environment.
The environmental benefit that remote labour is bringing about is the silver lining in this situation.