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Working From Home Reduces Our Carbon Footprint

Employers shifting to a remote workforce and enabling their employees to work from home is resulting in very positive effects on business, their employees’ lives and the planet. With people having the flexibility to work from home, companies open up the opportunity for employees to save money and time, for business operations to reduce their expenses and overhead, and for the business world to lower their carbon footprint and make progress on more sustainable business models. This article expands on these benefits of remote work.

New Approach to Investments in Office Spaces and Technology

A remote workforce affects the way a company does business and the way their employees work and operate, but it also impacts the type of investments a company makes in real estate, buildings, office space and technology. The business world seems destined for a hybrid workforce and office space, balancing a combination of employees going to the office sometimes and working from home other times. This will affect employees’ lifestyles, corporate culture and how businesses engage with employees. We can expect to see new types of office spaces emerge, both in office buildings and in homes to accommodate these new types of workforces.

The Sustainability Benefits of Remote Work

The list of benefits of remote work seem to far outweigh the downside.

  • LESS COMMUTING
  • LOWER FUEL EMISSIONS
  • LESS OFFICE BUILDING SPACE
  • A MORE DIVERSE WORKFORCE
  • FLEXIBLE WORK SCHEDULES
  • BETTER WORK-LIFE BALANCE

Less Commuting: Lower Travel Expenses, More Productive Time

One of the difficulties that many employees face is the commute they have to make in order to work. It can be multiple hours each way, going from bus to train, or from train to train to train, then to the office. Remote work eliminates this commute, creating a potential positive domino effect for both companies and employees.

First, the financial cost or expenses that accompanies commuting is an interesting angle to look at. Whether it’s a train ticket, a bus pass, or a tank of gas, employees and companies often spend lots of money, resources, and time on commuting to and from their offices. By reducing commuting, you remove the need for employees to spend their salaries on train tickets, bus passes, and tanks of gas.

Second, not only do you put more money into your employees pockets, you also free up more of their time. Removing the commute frees time to get more work done, get more rest and sleep, and be more effective and productive during the work day.

Less Commuting: Lower Fuel Emissions, Less Greenhouse Gases

Another one of the benefits of remote work is its positive environmental impact that comes from removing the need to commute. The gas the cars they use to travel from the office, the emissions the bus they travel on, and the fossil fuels that are spent on employees going to and from the office are saved. This may not be what companies are prioritizing or even thinking about, but it does help preserve the atmosphere, help mitigate climate change, and delay rising temperatures.

Decreasing Need for Dedicated Office Space

Another way a remote workforce can have a potential impact on business is through reducing the need for companies to have such large office footprints and occupy such large office spaces. With less people needing to attend the office, companies can look to scale down or reduce the amount of space they occupy. By reducing the footprints of their offices or spaces, companies are able to spend less on their office space, reduce their monthly overhead, and increase the amount of capital they can deploy elsewhere. From a real estate analyst perspective, companies have the opportunity to occupy less office space, with a similar level of production and output from their employees or teams, enabling companies to become more profitable or effective, invest into new markets, pursue new opportunities, invest more into initiatives they are motivated by, and be in stronger or better financial positions.

The office space expenditure is a cost that eats a lot of a company’s assets and capital on a monthly, and yearly basis. By reducing or eliminating this cost, companies will be able to pursue more growth opportunities, invest more into their technology, improve the benefits they offer their employees, and find other ways to utilize the capital savings they receive.

Hiring From a Larger Pool of Candidates

Switching to a remote workforce opens the door for companies to hire from a larger pool of prospective candidates. By removing the need to attend an office or eliminating the need for employees to be geographically focused, companies expand the potential candidate pools that are available. This means they can be more selective when they decide to hire, can get better, more experienced employees for similar or lower costs, and increase the skill levels of their teams.

Creating a More Diverse Workforce

Not only can companies find more talented or qualified people living in other geographic locations, they can also hire from a larger and more diverse candidate pool. This offers them the capability to attract and hire employees from a large demographic background of people, have employees from more diverse backgrounds, and create a team of people from around the world. Companies who hire locally or from a geographically focused pool, don’t have the same potential to tap candidates with different upbringings, viewpoints, and perspectives that a remote working company does.

Workday and Schedule Flexibility

Employing a remote workforce allows companies and it’s employees to have more flexibility. By removing the need to be in a physical or single location, employees have the potential to move around, explore living in new places, and offer them the opportunity to work anywhere they have a computer and internet access. Not only does this give employees more flexibility, but it opens the door for companies to explore more financial friendly locations for their headquarters and explore more ways they can find financial or capital savings.

Improved Work-Life Balance

You’re also able to help both companies and employees to achieve better work-life balances. Some companies and employees struggle with finding a work-life balance, where it’s often shifted too much in favor of work. By allowing employees to work from home, you grant them more time to live their lives and connect with their families and themselves. Increased flexibility and an improved work-life balance helps promote employee health and satisfaction which in turn, yields better performance for your company.

Conclusion: Working Remote Is Good for Most Businesses and the Planet

Working remotely is a decision that many companies have explored, some have made, and is worth considering or at the very least analyzing. There are an array of different possibilities and benefits of remote work.

  • LESS COMMUTING – Removing the need for employees to commute to an office, enhances the amount of time they have during a day, reduces the amount of energy they spend on commuting, and increases the amount of their salaries they can keep in their pockets.
  • LESS EMISSIONS – Less fuel burning to support commuting has the potential to have a very major impact on our air quality, our reliance on fossil fuels and on climate change.
  • LESS OFFICE BUILDING SPACE – A remote workforce also opens the possibility of companies reconsidering the office space they employ, removing the need to have large office footprints.
  • LARGER POOL OF CANDIDATES FOR HIRING – Working remotely also enables companies to tap into a larger pool of potential candidates from places around the world with different skill sets.
  • MORE DIVERSE WORKFORCE –  There’s also an opportunity to create a more diverse workforce by hiring from different demographics, geographical regions and cultures.
  • MORE FLEXIBLE WORK SCHEDULES – You’re also able to give departments and employees more flexible work hours.
  • BETTER WORK-LIFE BALANCE – This scheduling and office location flexibility improves work-life balance.  It also allows employees to move further from the office or to new geographies to lower their cost of living and improve their financial situation.

Bottom line, the remote workforce is here to stay and while it has taken some time to get used to, it’s proving to be a positive change in more ways than one. In fact, it’s a win-win-win. A win for workers, a win for business and a win for our planet.

About the Author

Howie Bick is the founder of The Analyst Handbook. The Analyst Handbook is a collection of 16 guides created to help current and aspiring analysts advance their careers. Prior to founding The Analyst Handbook, Howie was a financial analyst.

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