Every year on April 22, billions of individuals across the world participate in Earth Day. The main objective of Earth Day is to bring attention to the pressing issue of climate change and to promote eco-friendly practices to protect the environment.
Over the last few years, there has been a rapid global transition towards remote employment. Companies are now able to recruit from a much broader geographical base, enabling them to tap into a much wider and more diverse talent pool. Those businesses that have already adopted remote working practices have reported noticeable increases in productivity and job satisfaction amongst their employees, as well as a reduction in the costs associated with maintaining physical offices.
But how might the use of remote work benefit the environment? How may firms benefit from recruiting remote workers?
Let’s take a look at five significant environmental advantages of remote work on Earth Day.
Reduces the effect of infrastructure – Less deforestationThe utilisation of remote employment has become increasingly popular among organisations, leading to a decrease in the demand for permanent office space. This has enabled businesses to save on the costs associated with leasing or purchasing office space, while simultaneously diminishing the need for physical infrastructure. Consequently, this has had a negative impact on the commercial real estate industry. Furthermore, the widespread adaptation of remote employment could potentially contribute to mitigating the effects of deforestation.
Reduces commuting – Lowers greenhouse gas emissions and improves air qualityDue to the increasing number of organisations who are hiring remote employees, commuting has decreased significantly. By taking this measure, we have seen a significant reduction in the global carbon footprint and a concomitant decrease in global pollution. According to research conducted by Global Workforce Analytics, if everyone who works in an office shifted to a remote work schedule for only half of their work hours, it would result in 54 million tonnes of CO2 emissions being saved. Additionally, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that it would require 91 million trees to offset the emissions created by commuting to work in the United States annually.
Companies should embrace the concept of remote employment, especially in cities with high levels of pollution. By doing so, they can not only reduce their carbon footprint, but also raise awareness about the escalating issue of air pollution and global warming.
Reduces office waste by limiting the use of office materialsEmployees within the workplace typically rely heavily on physical office supplies, while remote personnel are more inclined to use digital methods of communication. This shift in approach helps to reduce the amount of physical resources being consumed.
With the current trend of remote work on the rise, electronic documentation has become the new standard for sharing important information. A report from [Source] has found that physical workplaces can use an estimated 247 trillion sheets of paper annually. By embracing remote work and its electronic documentation, we have the potential to reduce this figure drastically and minimise the amount of paper waste generated.
Additionally, it is common for office workers to generate a large amount of plastic cups and cutlery on a daily basis, which substantially contributes to the accumulation of workplace rubbish. Conversely, remote employment significantly reduces this type of waste.
Reduced energy consumption – More efficient energy use and energy conservationAccording to studies, a physical workplace consumes twice as much energy as a virtual workstation.
In order for businesses to effectively run their day-to-day operations, it is essential that there be appropriate heating and cooling systems, an adequate number of computers, servers, printing stations, and other necessary equipment in the physical workplace. Unfortunately, the use of such management requires a high amount of energy.
Additionally, employees tend to be more mindful of energy usage when they are in a professional environment as compared to when they are in a domestic setting. For example, an individual may not switch off a light in the office which they are not using; whereas, a remote worker will ensure that no lights are left on at home when they are not in use.
Work-life balance – Contributes to environmental stewardshipCompanies that hire remote employees are presented with a unique opportunity to source talent from various time zones, leading to a more diverse, inclusive, and adaptive corporate culture. This type of environment encourages individuals to achieve an optimal work-life balance, providing considerable advantages for both the employer and employee.
Employees who are content with their work and have a healthy work-life balance are more likely to have the time and energy to devote to environmental initiatives. As a result, allowing employees to work remotely may enable them to make a meaningful contribution to environmental protection.
How can your business help the environment on Earth Day?
Research has shown that remote employment does not have any detrimental effects on people or businesses. In fact, there are many positive benefits associated with remote work, such as the potential to reduce the environmental damage caused by commuting to and from an office. This is especially important for businesses, as it could help them reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future.
This Earth Day, businesses all across the globe can help by becoming remote and recruiting remote employees.
Other significant advantages of employing remote employees include:
- Office space costs have been reduced.
- Productivity has increased.
- The worldwide talent pool from which to pick
- Employee satisfaction has increased.
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