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Is Remote Business Better for the Environment?

Is Remote Business Better for the Environment?

Over the past two years in particular, many of us have shifted to either a hybrid or fully remote way of working in line with guidance and have enjoyed the additional flexibility that comes with a more digital nomad focused way of life as we leave the offices behind in favor of the home or the road, and it’s something that some environmentalists had praised as it got cars off the road and cut down on offices using energy too – but as many take another look at the change, a remote work shift may not be better at all.

One indication had been in emissions levels which quickly bounced back to pre-pandemic levels even as employees hadn’t fully returned, the data had shown that a reduced use of public transport because of restrictions and closures actually led to more congestion on the roads and in essence more emissions too – this is something that could settle down as a return to normal life is very much on the horizon, but the early signs that it had been a positive change have been discovered to be somewhat short-sighted and not accurate of the situation.

Similarly, with energy costs rising around the world and being all but unaffordable for some, the choice may be taken away without some support for those using energy at home – not only are many of the bigger offices still running at fully capacity, but many more homes of individuals are using more energy during the day than would have been seen before which also causes something of a red herring in any forecast – some employees may have to return to the office simply because they can’t afford the cost of living at home with these rising costs, and may also be a factor in forecasts for the future.

It was always going to be difficult to determine the true carbon footprint of a fully remote work force as it’s much harder to control than in a centralized location like an office, but data is emerging suggesting that the grass isn’t necessarily greener and whilst there are many positives to the change, there are some downsides that need to be taken away from this too – with much of business now being caught up in the possibility that a four-day work week could also be closing in, it will need to be yet another consideration into the environmental impact as that continues to become something closely related with working and leisure time habits with change being urged at every turn.

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