20 Reasons to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint Through Remote Working
When you set your goals for 2020, I’d be willing to bet you didn’t imagine the events of the last few months. For many people who have lost loved ones, or have been ill, or have had their jobs or businesses badly affected by Covid-19, it’s been a devastating time. We offer you our sincere condolences, and if there’s any way we can help you, please reach out.
Sometimes it’s difficult to remember that this terrible virus has had some positive outcomes. We’ve seen true heroism from the NHS and other essential workers. We’ve witnessed people embracing technology to keep in touch with loved ones, organise relief efforts and education; we’ve seen businesses pivot to help people in new ways. We’ve followed the stories of people like Captain Sir Tom Moore who have united and inspired the country.
And if there can be one clear winner from the last few months it has to be the environment. We’ve seen footage of dolphins swimming in Venetian canals, smog-free images of cities synonymous with air pollution such as Delhi, and crystal-clear views of the earth from space.
Another positive has been the creativity that many people have shown in their efforts to keep their businesses going. Many people were championing remote working before the virus, and the quarantine has shown it can not only work but, in some cases, can be more successful than anyone imagined. And of course, remote working can be great for the environment too.
As we start to think about what life will look like after the virus, many businesses are considering changing their working practices for good to facilitate remote working. Why? Let’s find out.
How is Remote Working Good for The Environment?
- Global Workforce Analytics estimates that if 50% of the US workforce works from home half the time, global greenhouse emissions would reduce by 54 million tonnes a year.
- The reduction in commuting would also lead to a fall in the use of fossil fuels which are one of the key drivers of climate change.
- More people working from home means less energy to warm or cool offices…
- … and fewer resources being used – from printer paper and office stationery to disposable coffee cups!
- And people working from home generally produce less waste – they are more likely to take notes electronically, less likely to print off documents to share with colleagues, and not buying lunch every day severely reduces the amount of plastic in the recycling bin.
- People are more likely to act in an environmentally conscious way when working from home, because when they are in the office there isn’t a financial incentive to do so.
- They are even more likely to eat an eco-friendly diet of locally sourced, seasonal, organic food which has much less impact on the environment than the mass-produced foods often provided by corporations
- And when it’s time to scale up or down, they can do so without the impact on the environment that comes from construction.
How is Remote Working Good for Individuals?
- Remote working is more convenient for people who no longer have to add commuting time onto their day and can be available at home as necessary.
- It can be cheaper too, with reduced travel costs, less wear and tear on their cars, and less money spent on eating and drinking outside the home
- People who work from home are generally healthier as they eat better, have more time to exercise and have a better work-life balance
- It can be particularly useful to parents who would prefer to be near young children, or available to older children when they come home from school. Similarly, remote working can enable people who care for elderly parents or who have other responsibilities at home to continue to pursue their careers.
- People who work from home are generally happier as they are closer to their family, spend more time on hobbies and pastimes, and generally have more control over their work.
How is Remote Working Good for Business?
- With more members of staff working from home, businesses often benefit from reduced overheads as central offices can either be smaller or closed entirely.
- This will enable businesses to cut back on the energy they’re currently wasting, providing facilities for people who often work from home some of the time, or travel or only work part time.
- While you might think people are more likely to be distracted when working from home, research shows that they are actually more productive. And more productive staff translates into more revenue for your business.
- Remote working can stop the loss of talent when good members of staff go through a life change that makes travelling into work difficult, such as having children, or suffering from an illness or injury.
- Increasing the numbers of UK employees working from home can cut costs by £3 billion a year for UK employers and employees and save over 3 million tonnes of carbon a year.
- People are generally happier when they work from home and suffer from fewer stress-related issues. This can result in reduced staff turnover – a clear win for businesses.
- As sustainability becomes more important to people, businesses that can show they take their targets seriously may find they are more popular with their customers.
If we’ve learned anything during the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s that allowing your staff to work from home more is not only good for the environment, but it can also be great for your business.
If you’re considering extending remote working beyond the current crisis, you need to remember you have the same obligations to your staff when they work remotely as you do when they work in the office. Make sure you have the right business insurance in place to cover staff who work from home and in business premises.
If you’d like to learn more about Business Insurance and your obligations, please contact us here.