How Remote Work Positively Impacts The Environment

August 12, 2022
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The world is becoming increasingly connected, and even more so after the world has opened up again. Not too long ago, a person had to travel to work each day to an office where they'd work eight hours, five days a week, and call it 'life.' These days, many of us have been given the opportunity continue working remotely even after the necessity of it during the pandemic.

This leads to a lot of advantages for personal wellbeing, like having more time and flexibility in to choose how and when to work. But another advantage to remote working that is often less talked about, but equally important, is the positive environmental impact due to reduced carbon footprint.

Less commute means fewer emissions from traveling

According to a recent study by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the transportation sector accounts for 27% of total greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the United States alone, making it the largest contributor to GHG emissions. Reducing carbon footprint by reducing commute means less consumption of fossil fuels which will result in lesser greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.

Traveling to work every day translates into a whole lot of time and fuel. The environmental impact is significant as well. When you consider that one gallon of gas could produce 20 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, driving less certainly has a positive impact on the environment at a larger scale. When employees work remotely, they don't have to commute to their office every day. This means less traffic congestion, fewer carbon emissions, and less pollution caused by car exhausts. This Research from Spain's Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals suggests significant impact on air quality.

Less office time means less power consumption

Even though the remote work trend is growing substantially, offices are still very much operational. Considering how much energy is used by offices collectively, the significant decrease in power consumption through working outside of the office has also it’s positive effects on the environment. Some studies show that energy consumption increased or remained neutral when taking into account the increase of energy use at home. Despite this, we cannot we cannot deny the fact that indeed less office time significantly means less power consumption.

The key to reducing carbon footprint, or the number of greenhouse gases that you contribute to the environment, is to use less power. This requires a careful evaluation of how much energy you use in your daily life. The idea of remote work is that it saves companies money by not having employees in office buildings (thereby having the AC or heating on) all day. Cutting down on consumption reduces carbon footprint in general. 

Less use of plastic and paper

Although not always, working remotely means using less paper. With the use of cloud-based softwares and real-time communication tools, documentation when working requires less to no printed materials. Plastic use through dining out and packaging is also used less when working from the comforts of your own home. Regardless of where you work, there's no doubt that a remote job can be a greener choice than the ususal office job.

“The body of research on the subject shows that it is too simple to assume that teleworking is inevitably a more sustainable option. Unless workers and employers fully commit to the working-from-home model, many of the potential energy savings could be lost," Benjamin K Sovacool, Professor of Energy Policy at the Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex said.

Positively impact the environment by working from Home

One of the most effective ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your business is to adopt a greener version of the work setup. In fact, many studies show that remote work is one of the best ways to achieve an eco-friendly business status which don’t only help the environment but also improves the image of your company. With a sustainable, fully remote working environment, you can be proud of positively contributing to a greener environment.

How can you implement a fully-remote work setup, manage people across borders, and pay them without any hassle? We take care of all of that for you through our Employer of Record (EOR) services. At Remotify, we offer services that take the administrative load off from you, including HR administration, payroll management, and team engagement to help you manage your remote team and allow you to focus on your business. Contact us at hello@remotify.phto get started.

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