The Environmental Benefits of Going Remote

You may have heard of the ‘new world order’, that has been used to describe conspiracy theories and various political development. I don’t know about all that, but I do know that with remote work there is a new way we go about our work and life…

On our sister site, Canary PR, not long ago I wrote an article on how the way we work is changing and things are going to develop in a certain direction whether we like it or not, and we may as well make the best of the opportunities we have presented to us at this time. Do check that out as it goes hand-in-hand with this piece and how it can potentially affect Green issues.

What I didn’t mention there is how that can also have a tremendous impact on the environment. Let’s look at 3 such ways…

1. Say ‘No’ to the Commute & ‘Yes’ to Less Greenhouse Emissions

It stands to reason that the less you use any type of transport, the lesser the effect on the environment. By working from home (or having that option in part), you are greatly reducing all the harmful effects and relieving congestion for those still unfortunate enough to be clogged up in that mire, which has to be a good thing too.

Now, this all depends on the arrangement you have with your employer or associates, as well as your own personal preferences, but even if you’re heading to the office just 3 days a week, the difference is immense. And with a more flexible schedule, ‘rush hour’ and its rancid effects is dissipated.

And with public transport generally improving, then making use of that overtaking the car is another way. Another great thing about a more flexible schedule is the ability to use buses and not nervously keep your eye on the time. You know where you’re going, you’re communicating with your colleagues throughout, and the work’s getting done and to a high standard. That’s what’s important… not if the 473 services is running 10 minutes late.

This can also be financially beneficial for you too. It takes a lot of money to buy and maintain a car. Discounted and monthly public transport tickets are cheap (and less of a headache) and with unlimited use, you can take advantage of them for your recreational pursuits… so impromptu weekend trips can be covered too!

In Tenerife, the resident’s card now only costs 38 euros a month for unlimited travel around the island, and with the TenMas card at your disposal for non-residents or people using it less, it’s all fairly cheap, easy and efficient.

How about taking it a step further and run or cycle?? Get fit in the process! I’ve just read a book on a guy doing 100+ mile ultra runs for fun. I’m not suggesting that but it does open the doors to what we can achieve and the level that we currently operate at. A 5-mile cycle, for example, could be a beautiful habit to get in to for many reasons.

Infographic via Webex with stats from Global Workplace Analytics

2. go remote and Say Goodbye to Fossil Fuels

Or a decreased consumption anyway. This all ties in with above as without a commute (or at least a decreased and adapted one), we will cut back on the millions of gallons of gas/petrol being emitted into the atmosphere.

This will also lead to a lessened impact on infrastructure. Roads need to be built and maintained, repaired and expanded. Not only does remote work reduce the amount of traffic at peak times, but it also lessens the intensity of any damage caused.

The air quality will improve, and that collective carbon footprint of ours will diminish.

3. Keep Office Resources to a Minimum

Offices and other places of work aren’t cheap to run – in every sense. Everyone needs to be kitted out with all the relevant equipment (large and small) as well as be powered and kept in good order.

Of course, you will need certain resources wherever you’re carrying out your work. Remote work means that you may decide to invest in a printer at home and will also use electricity that you wouldn’t have if you were out. But this will be on a far smaller scale than any office. And if you are still going to the office at times, you can make use of the facilities there during that time, just not all of the time. You might even discover a whole new world when you pop to the library to use their scanner… or have a chance to encounter in a cool cafe!

Reducing paper and plastic waste is high up on the agenda, and one of the more obvious things we can do. This practically eliminates most of this other than the bare essentials. With remote work become more discerning and use only what is ‘necessary’ (which also changes over time).

Although it’s great to have a central base for a company to operate, they can greatly reduce their costs as well as negative influences on the environment, whilst also boosting efficiency. Win-win!

Every Great Journey Starts with a Single Step

As with everything, it’s about progress, not perfection. Any step in the right direction is useful, and when added together over time and with enough people, then you start to see a remarkable difference. And from that point, you can take further steps (large leaps if you want!) but that becomes your new base layer. Your new normal which can be tweaked ad infinitum.

So, this style of work doesn’t just solve problems with work-life balance, employee retention, and productivity… you can now add saving the planet to that happy little list! 🙂

~ Adam

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