The traditional nine to five is changing. Remote work isn’t some far-off idea anymore, it’s here and it’s our new working reality. All across the world, we’re shaping the way we work, connect, stay informed, and communicate. A huge part of that is thanks to our evolving digital platforms and the rise of Gen Z. But, those are hardly the only reasons for an acceleration in telecommuting or working from home.
Global impact is the driving force here. Specifically, traffic congestion, harmful emissions and air pollution, a worldwide health crisis, and the nature of today’s changing global workforce. All of these contribute to a rapidly growing shift in the way we work.
Here’s how global impact is driving a more permanent laptop lifestyle for many and helping to alleviate ecological and economic burdens around the world:
Traffic congestion and air pollution
The rise in global population has lead to an influx of city-dwellers, which means more cars on the roads – specifically, highways. According to UN Habitat, cities are responsible for producing more than 60 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions – these gasses directly contribute to global warming. Not only that, but more cars on the roads mean an increase in nitrogen oxide emissions, which can alter ecosystem diversity as well as water and soil acidity.
That’s not all. People who sit in peak-hour traffic on a regular basis are exposed to these harmful emissions. That’s because passenger vehicles and heavy-duty trucks are a major cause of air pollution, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, respiratory ailments, and cancer.
So how do we change this? Simple. We cut down on driving to work every day wherever possible. This effortless act can drastically help to reduce congestion on roads and alleviate our contribution to overall carbon emissions. According to Global Workforce Analytics, if people worked from home even just half a workweek, this could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54 million tons each year.
There’s such a crucial need to reduce the number of cars on the road, new bills are being passed. In Massachusetts, USA for example, an $18 billion transportation investment bill provides companies a tax credit for offering more work from home options to their employees.
Less paper and plastic waste
Did you know that the average office worker uses around 10 000 sheets of paper a year? That’s a lot of trees. Paper and plastic waste are massive contributors to negatively impacting our already fragile ecosystem. In the USA, only 9.5% of plastic is ever recycled.
Here’s how working from home can help to reduce the consumption of both:
Remote working means using emails, software programs, and cloud-based apps to create documents, send messages, and submit files. This ultimately means a lot less printing, copying, and paper filling every day. And, instead of ordering food and drinks, telecommuters have the option to refill the coffee pot, reuse dishes, and eat leftovers straight from the bowl. Working at home helps to eliminate the need for disposable cups and utensils.
Can you imagine how much paper and plastic waste this would save if more people worked remotely? Even as little as one day a week will have a massive positive impact in helping to preserve our environment.
To help employees cut down on their individual carbon footprints, more and more companies are propelling an anti-establishment movement to the way they work.
This means scaling down offices and offering flexible work options like telecommuting or working remotely. Not only is this great for decreasing traffic on the roads, but it also helps companies save large amounts of energy consumption in office buildings. Less electricity for lights, coffee machines, office appliances, air conditioners, etc. It all adds up.
And there are even more benefits. The freedom to work remotely also helps companies retain more staff, especially talented employees. Buffer, for example, is a fully remote company that has a 91% retention rate – not something you hear very often in today’s economic climate! Finding ways to encourage valued employees to remain in the company for longer is a huge financial saving for organisations. Especially when you consider how much goes into recruiting, hiring, and training new employees.
But it’s not only companies who benefit financially. Professional workers can save money on office clothing and food since they’ll be able to wear more casual clothes and easily whip up their own food and coffee at home.
It’s clear to see that options for remote work are a win-win for both employer and employee.
Health, productivity and happiness
Today, work for many millennials and Gen Z is more than just a paycheck. They want to feel valued and work in a way that promotes a better life balance. Especially when it comes to their well-being. Working remotely, even just one or two days a week can drastically improve employee morale and happiness.
This flexible way of working also cuts down on additional stress and time spent in traffic. Plus, it’s been proven time and time again that most people are more productive working from home.
With the nature of today’s changing global workforce and impact on our environment, remote work just makes sense. Whether that’s to help alleviate traffic congestion, deter a sporadic health crisis, promote better life balance, save money, or preserve our environment.
Our fast-evolving digital landscape provides the perfect solution to remain connected and productive from the comfort of our couch, a local coffee shop, or an inspiring coworking space. We have the options, freedom, and resources to make this happen.
Speaking of coworking, have you seen our Seats2Meet virtual coworking space platform? While working remotely, you can engage with, learn from, and share your knowledge with other like-minded professionals and entrepreneurs from anywhere around the world. Take a browse and sign up for your free S2M passport here.