What are the Environmental Benefits of Work From Home Lifestyle?
Remote working has become the norm for many more people since the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Businesses all over the world swapped morning boardroom meetings for zoom call conferences. Although it’s not the most social and can be quite a steep learning curve for some, it has had a very positive impact on the environment by reducing carbon emissions and reducing paper and plastic wastage. Working from home has also helped businesses save on water and power usage.
Environmental Benefits of Work From Home Lifestyle: Remote working means cleaner air, saving trees, and lower bills.
Working from home means that commuting to and from work every day is a thing of the past. In Cape Town, South Africa’s most congested city, the average commuter would lose 42 minutes a day to rush hour traffic. This is equal to 163 hours a year commuting! Not only does remote working reduce a great deal of stress and time involved with travel, but it has lowered the number of carbon emissions from motor vehicles exponentially.
Working online and digitizing documents has led to less paper consumption. By cutting back on paper usage, we can save more trees. Just one protected tree can remove up to 14,7 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which over a year makes a substantial cut to greenhouse gas emissions.
Along with clearing the air, working from home has massively impacted power and water consumption globally. There have been much lower electricity and water bills for office buildings and brick-and-mortar workplaces. According to the World Economic Forum, power consumption has declined overall because of remote working and learning from the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Environmental Benefits of Work From Home Lifestyle: Eco-friendly diets and reduced plastic use:
It is typical of workers who do not live close to their office to purchase meals and drinks while on the job. The working-from-home lifestyle promotes the opportunity for people to make better lifestyle choices that can effectively benefit the environment. When not at home and working long hours, people tend to purchase plastic water bottles, hot drinks with disposable plastic lids, and takeaway lunches and snacks with paper and plastic packaging. Instead, while staying at home, remote workers can make their food and reuse glasses and cups.
More time at home to cook for themselves also gives people the opportunity to choose eco-friendly groceries such as organic foods, seasonal foods and locally sourced produce. Brewing coffee at home and using products such as SodaStream to make drinks can help contribute to a healthier planet. By cooking ourselves and not using delivery services and drinking water through a water filter, we can prevent the continuous consumption of single-use water bottles.
Environmental Benefits of Work From Home Lifestyle: Effective changes to make your business greener
An environmentally-friendly business is not only the responsible thing to do, but it can also grow your consumer base. Besides the clear benefit of reducing strain on the Earth, prioritizing green practices and processes in workspaces businesses can reduce expenses and improve employee productivity. Studies show that 81% of adults in South Africa are more mindful of their impact on the environment since COVID-19, with Gen Z (89%) leading the trend. Three-quarters of South African respondents (76%) say companies behaving in more sustainable and eco-friendly ways is more important than before.
When a business prevents paper and plastic waste, increases energy efficiency or improves resource productivity, it can save money, increase profits and enhance competitiveness. By creating a more sustainable business, you become less dependent on natural resources, have ways to combat rising costs, and your company has a better chance of success in the future.
Make green business choices:
- Install solar panels.
- Source goods and products from local vendors.
- Source goods and products manufactured sustainably.
- Install low flow toilets and faucet aerators.
- Recycle electronics by donating them to schools or charities.
- Organise sustainable partnerships.
- Encourage remote working and cloud computing.
In conclusion, the environmental benefits of work from home lifestyle are huge! Remote working has enabled the working world to think smarter and implement more sustainable practices into their everyday habits. Working from home is an opportunity to make better, conscious choices that can benefit the environment - environmental improvements are not a direct result of simply working at home. We are all responsible for taking care of the Earth and reducing our wastage and carbon footprint. Individually this is how we can protect our planet’s precious resources.