More and more, companies in a variety of industries are offering employees the perk of a lifetime– the opportunity to work remotely. When granted permission to telecommute, workers with an internet connection can simply complete company tasks from the comfort of their home, their local library, or their timeshare in the Bahamas.
Obviously, working from home has personal benefits. Instead of waking up early to don your business-casual dress, you can roll out of bed at eight and punch in at 8:01, at least theoretically. Perhaps even better, you won’t have to spend a dime on gas to get from your bed to your laptop.
It turns out that a remote work opportunity isn’t only a perk for you– it’s also beneficial to the environment. By slashing your commute, you can also slash your carbon footprint.
Next time your supervisor balks at a request to work from home, support your case by pointing out that telecommuting is the eco-conscious thing to do. For evidence, here are three ways working from home can and does help protect the environment:
1. It Saves Gas
Without question, the millions of motor vehicles that travel the world’s roads play a huge role in ever-rising greenhouse gases and air pollution. The fuel workers burn to get to work is partially to blame for rising atmospheric levels of CO2, which extensive research has linked to planet-wide climate change, rising sea levels, and destruction of habitats. What’s more, studies have found that telecommuting effectively reduces greenhouse gas emissions– according to Schooled By Science,if everyone who held remote-compatible jobs telecommuted just half the time, they’d cut greenhouse emissions by 54 million tons every year.
2. It Wastes Less Paper
Conducting work remotely forces employees and businesses alike to adopt more digital-friendly practices. Rather than completing expense reports by hand or jotting down meeting notes, more and more individuals conduct all work with a screen. Though the average office worker uses about 10,000 pieces of paper each year, by working remotely, less paper is needed to get the job done. Working remotely not only saves gas, but the trees, too.
3. It Cuts Back Electricity Use
While working from home may increase residential electricity use during the day, it cuts back the amount of electricity businesses use, which results in an overall reduction. Why? Simply put, powering a large office takes more juice than powering a dozen home laptops. With fewer workers coming in, more companies opt for smaller office spaces, and many completely unplug vacant computers to reduce utility bills. By working from home, individuals redirect their electricity use in a way that actually reduces electricity use overall.
By cutting back paper use, fuel for transportation, and wasted electricity, remote work might drastically reduce the amount of resources needed to accomplish work in the near future and beyond. Roughly 53% of travel plans are made online — why shouldn’t your meetings be booked that way? If you want to get control of your work life balance and help the environment, working remotely might be the perfect solution. Your budget and the planet will thank you.