As the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc on the world, millions of workers are staying at home, telecommuting. But even without the devastation caused by the virus, many employees prefer doing their work from home.
According to the latest work from home statistics, a staggering 62% would love to join the remote workforce if they had the chance.
Remote work offers a range of benefits. Yet, we often overlook the environmental impact of telecommuting.
So, to remedy this, here are the most prominent ways remote work tackles climate change.
1. Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions
One of the most prominent aspects of working from home is the lack of early-morning commute. At the same time, remote workers can significantly contribute to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
What’s more, studies show that telecommuters can reduce these emissions by as much as 54 million tons per year.
2. Reduced Use of Fossil Fuels
Workers who stay at home and don’t drive to work reduce their carbon footprint.
And, as you already know, reliance on fossil fuels is a global concern. Statistically, an average American uses at least 1.2 liters of gas per day.
Aside from using renewable sources of energy, cutting down on the use of petroleum products is one of the best ways of combating climate change.
3. Reduced Use of Paper
A flexible work schedule might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the benefits of this module are easy to see.
For instance, workers who embrace telecommuting can significantly reduce the use of office paper. An average office worker in the US consumes around 10,000 sheets of paper a year.
The secret lies in the use of modern technologies. Remote work is online-based, which often removes the need for printed documents.
4. Reduced Use of Plastic
Likewise, remote workforce tends to use less plastic than their office peers. For example, employees who stay home do not buy coffee-to-go nor packed lunches.
To be precise, only 3% of telecommuters admit ordering out when they work from home. Besides preparing their food, they can also reuse dishware.
As a result, remote workers can reduce plastic waste and help rehabilitate our planet’s ecosystems.
5. Reduced Energy Consumption
Technological advancements are making remote work increasingly energy-efficient. Plus, workers are more conscious of energy consumption when they are the ones who pay the electricity bill.
For that reason, many remote workers use energy-saving devices and make their homes as self-sustainable as possible.
With that said, energy consumption and energy efficiency vary from one area of the globe to the other. Depending on the location, the bills for heating/cooling might show considerable differences.
Also, the need to heat individual houses instead of a single office building might increase energy consumption in some areas.
In our quest to find renewable sources of energy, we might have the answer in front of us already. Remote work is a module that could transform our planet and prevent further damage to the environment.
If a significant portion of the population made the transition to telecommuting, we would reduce greenhouse emissions. Also, we would use fewer fossil fuels and less plastic. In other words, we would take responsibility for our planet.