Remote Working & Your Organisation’s Environmental Impact

Posted on 1 December 2019

Remote working and environmentalism are making the headlines lately – hand in hand, they could do great things for your organisation.

 

From individual employees to entire businesses, we all have our fair share of responsibility when it comes to the environment. While many organisations have taken direct action to lessen their impact on the environment via schemes such as going paperless, cycling to work, and strict recycling policies, there’s still one change that often goes forgotten: remote working.

For years, both employers and employees have enjoyed the benefits of remote working, including money saved (on both sides), increased productivity, and improved employee satisfaction – and therefore staff retention. One thing that is rarely mentioned, though, is remote working’s positive impact on the world we live in.

Here are some of the greatest environmental benefits to allowing your staff to work remotely.

1. Decreasing Your Carbon Footprint

One great thing about remote working is that it reduces your employee’s need to travel. Straight off the bat, the daily commute and its resultant pollution is traded in for saving time and money by working from home.

Global Workforce Analytics has estimated that by working out of office for just half of the work week, employees could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54 million tons every year.

Next generation communication software packages like Office 365 – and specifically, Teams – make it possible to interact with clients and colleagues using messenger, calls, and video chat, drastically reducing the need to travel at all. Rather than needing to fly, drive, or take the train to a key location, employees can participate in key meetings from the comfort of their own home.

2. Decreasing Paper and Plastic

By fully embracing digital solutions, businesses have already been laying the foundations for a paper and plastic-free workplace, and this can be taken one step further by embracing remote work.

As vital hardware is now much more portable, anyone doing work via a computer can now do so remotely, as long as they have the right security solutions protecting them. Investing in SaaS solutions also eliminates the need for plastic packaging and the manufacturing of physical copies of software – a big bonus for the environment.

Working outside of the office also means employees are much more likely to send files digitally, rather than wasting paper by using an office printer that they no longer have access to.

Then there’s lunch to think about: rather than buying meals or coffee from nearby fast food chains, remote employees are much more likely to eat from their own kitchens, reducing the amount of disposable cups, wrappers, plastic cups, and paper bags that end up in landfills.

Instead, any packaging they do throw away is more likely to be recycled, as employees take full responsibility for their own household waste. That’s another win!

3. Decreasing Wasted Energy

Having to cater to fewer employees in the office means that your organisation will need fewer resources. Simply cutting down on office size can instantly make a huge difference in energy consumption, as your office will require fewer resources to run.

As energy consumption is a primary climate change contributor, this change can only be a good thing for the environment, as well as for your finances. For those who are self-employed and working from home, it’s even possible to claim tax relief on the utilities used.

Embracing the Change

Reducing energy consumption, plastic waste, and greenhouse gas emissions should, realistically, be on the agenda for every business today. By embracing remote working, your organisation can do its bit to protect the environment, whilst furnishing employees with a coveted work perk.

As a result, your staff are happy, the organisation has made a difference and saved some pennies along the way, and everybody gets to feel good about it. Sounds like a win-win situation to us!

We love remote working! To find out how we can help your business to offer  secure, efficient remote working through technological solutions, get in touch with a member of our dedicated (and environmentally-friendly) team.

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