Working remote has become extremely convenient for people around the world and not only for them. It turns out that if we stop commuting as much we can also help the environment breathe a little lighter. Since we are facing many climate change related issues, we need to come up with new methods of tackling them, the workplace being only one area.
Let’s go further and look at some positive impacts that remote work has on our environment:
1. Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Decreased Consumption of Fossil Fuels
When people work remote, they save a lot of time and transportation money, but even more importantly, they reduce their carbon footprint substantially. We already experience warmer seasons, floods and fires because of the greenhouse gases. And there is no doubt that the gasoline each individual car burns only contributes to these negative outcomes on our environment. Let’s not forget the air quality. Every year, more than 3.3 people die because of the air quality. In Bucharest, a study by the Institute of Public Health showed that the poor air quality shortens the inhabitants’ lives with 4 years.
We respond to this problem by introducing our project, minditNomad. Our colleagues come from all over the country and we like to offer them the possibility to work at an office in their home city, without having to commute long distances. They also have the freedom to work while traveling to the sea or mountains, so as to be closer to their family and friends, while also connecting to our work culture. As studies show, working remote only half of the week leads to a gas reduction of 54 million tons per year and we are completely in for that!
2. Reduced Use of Paper
Have you noticed how many documents are printed in the office? Let’s be honest: How often do we print out documents that we do not really need? Most of the time we can share them via cloud, mail or intranet but we decide to print them anyway only because it is convenient. But if we worked from home and needed to use our own printer, we would definitely be more economic about it.
Needless to say, printing so many unnecessary documents is not healthy for the environment. In fact, having digital copies eliminates the disposal of 247 trillion sheets of paper each year. In our offices, we decided to let go of this wasteful way of working and agreed we would share everything on cloud, taking a burden off of the planet’s shoulders and, well, of our own desks’.
3. Reduced Consumption of Plastic
Plastic cutlery, plates, bags, cups, should we continue? These are only a few of the unnecessary and harmful products that come with a regular office life. Whether we order food, go to the market for a sandwich or simply drink coffee capsules, we use a considerable amount of plastic items that are immediately thrown into the bin.
At mindit.io, we try to be as gentle as possible with the environment and we do not welcome plastic disposals in our kitchens. Having relatively small offices that cannot accommodate all our colleagues at once makes it easier to reduce our carbon footprint. Yes, you can most certainly use disposable plastic products even when you work from home or from a remote office. However, the temptation and convenience factor is not so present.
4. Reduced Energy Consumption
When printers are closed, lights in the office are turned off, air coolers are not constantly open and heating systems are turned down, the energy consumption is reduced drastically. A colleague might not want to turn off the light as frequently as they would in their home. Also, no one is forced by their peers to work with a light turned on in the middle of the day.
It must be added that if companies decide to adopt a hybrid way of working, with some days of office work and other days with remote work, they must pay close attention to the energy they are consuming. For example, when the office is only half occupied it must not be kept fully operating and as a result become a higher-carbon workplace.
5. More time to make a positive impact on the environment
Spending less time commuting can not only be invigorating for the working people, but also for the environment. With a little more free time, people can easily embark on eco-friendly home projects, even inviting the children to participate in a greener future. Activities such as composting, gardening or recycling are just a few fun ways in which anyone can have a positive impact on our environment.
To wrap it up, every individual action counts in order to address the climate change threats. Allowing people to work in a flexible way may actually feed two birds with one scone: it will enhance your colleagues happiness while also putting a smile on the planet’s face.