The Environmental Impact of Home Office
How does working from Home affect our environment?
The changes to the way we work thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic have been positively received by both employers and employees alike. As such it is very likely that said changes will stick around long after the pandemic ends. In this article, we will explore a few of the positive environmental impacts of working from home.
Reduced emissions and time saved
You wake up, eat your breakfast and get ready for work. As your go to grab your car keys you let out a sigh, as images of sitting in deadlocked traffic jams flash through your mind. This was a typical morning for many of us, an unavoidable daily torment. However, by working from home, we have found a much-needed alternative. Not only does working from home save us up to 15% of our daily time allowance. It also reduces the number of cars on the road, resulting in reduced carbon emissions not only from our own vehicles but also from the vehicles that need to be on the road as they no longer have to contend with as much traffic.
Digitization of documents
By digitizing our documents we can cut down on unnecessary paper usage. Not only does this have a positive impact on the environment but it also streamlines many previously time-consuming processes. We no longer need to print and sign paper documentation before sending it to receive another signature and waiting for the fully signed document to return to us a week later. And although this by no means accounts for the majority of our yearly paper consumption it’s certainly a step in the right direction.
Reduced need for Office space
With fewer people going to the office on a daily basis, it follows that we don’t need as much office space to house employees. It is very possible to reduce the area that offices are currently consuming, making way for greener alternatives for example public parks and green spaces. The benefits of having green areas within a city are numerous, from reduced air pollution to improved water management, not to mention the positive effects they have on people’s state of mind and sense of wellbeing.
More free time to make greener choices
As we mentioned earlier the average telecommuter will be saving up to 15% of their free time. What we choose to do with that free time dictates its environmental value. If we spend those precious hours watching another episode on Netflix with all the lights switched on it may even have a negative impact on the environment. However, if we instead invest the time we save on commuting to prepare ourselves healthier meals or to organize our waste disposal at home then the positive impact will be multiplied.
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