In the last two years of the pandemic, humanity has faced grueling trials and harrowing hardships, including the spread of the virus to lockdown periods and the tragic lives lost in recent years.
With the trials and tribulations that humanity faced… was there a silver lining?
Watch the skies over New Delhi, Mexico City, Wuhan, London, Madrid and others as their air became smog-free.
Watch the waters of Venice, as the silt in the traffic-heavy canals finally calmed and cleared.
During the time of confinement, we saw a real-time case study of our impact on the environment. Like us, like commuters, energy users and air pollutants, we affect our planet… but we can also help.
Although it depends on human nature, Harvard Business Review confirmed that the company has been able to do more than work through a WFH (Working from home) model to help naturalness. But first, let’s look at some of the statistics to better frame the environmental impacts.
A look at resource depletion
Carbon and greenhouse gases
As a remote worker and telecommuter, it’s obvious that making the morning and afternoon commute is pretty much non-existent. While you still have to drive up hills, not having to sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic for hours on end cuts down not only on time and money, but also on your carbon footprint.
The logic may seem as easy as 1 + 1 = 2. No commuting + No running vehicle = Less greenhouse gas emissions. But have you ever thought of expanding the actions of a single person to a global scale? Or even to own country?
The US Environmental Protection Agency issued a statement in 2017 saying that 29% of greenhouse gas emissions in the US came from transportation, with a large portion representing the typical family/personal car.
To drive home the point further, Digital Nomad explains that remote workers avoid emitting 3.6 million tons of the same gas each year and that if they want to make the bad trade-off, they’ll need 91 million trees planted.
Along with the greenhouse gas emissions that come into play with commuting, the use of fossil fuels is also worth noting. Homes and businesses use fossil fuels not only for electricity and heat, but also for transportation.
In the days before the 2018 pandemic, Statista estimated that 97.2 million barrels of diesel were consumed PER DAY. This barrel holds approximately 20 gallons, so multiply that and think of the nightmare of gas pumps.
After reflecting on that number, do a little mental exercise with me. She closes her eyes and considered only half of the companies that could working remotely they did.
Reduction of energy consumption
But if everyone worked from home, wouldn’t we be using an inordinate amount of electrical energy? The short answer: possibly, but it depends on the population.
In a case study showing the positive effects of using solar power, Sun Power provided these statistics for a typical home:
- The average US home uses about 900 kWh per month.
- That’s 30 kWh per day
- or 1.25 kWh per hour.
This is just an average of US households, not taking into account people who overuse or underuse inside or outside this country.
But how much electricity does a business use?
Forbes says that large companies, pharmacies, factories, etc. they can use 100kWh… every half hour.
If it is difficult to measure precisely how much electricity the global remote workforce consumes in a day, comparing the 1.25 kWh per hour of average consumption in homes with the 100 kWh per half hour in businesses shows us that, ultimately, it will always be more profitable for housework.
City lights or starry nights?
Some may migrate to a larger city in hopes of easier access to jobs. Others, on the other hand, may move to another area within the same city to reduce their travel time, exchanging the cost of gasoline for a higher rental cost.
It’s easy to work remotely to fix these issues in one fell swoop.
According to the US Census Bureau, approximately 80% of Americans live in urban areas. But in a recent study, because many are not doing it out of conviction. In a survey conducted by CBS, 38% of city residents prefer to live in more rural areas.
I honestly can’t blame them. There is much less noise and light pollution, better air quality, not to mention marginally lower living expenses.
Working remotely removes the limitations that large metropolitan areas often have when it comes to job opportunities and financial and environmental factors tied to a physical office.
Remote work to improve
The impact remote workers can have on the environment can only be as useful as it is relevant to the employee. But those who can tip the balance in favor of environmental initiatives are the businessmen themselves.
Harvard Business Review describes this in very simple considerations:
- Embed a culture of sustainability: Routinely reiterate your company’s sustainability initiatives throughout the organization
- Provide supportive policies – encourage and support employees using renewable energy sources and active environmental initiatives
- Think globally, act locally: enter the community and practice environmental disclosure that reflects the image of your company
The benefits of these practices are many. A company can become a leader in environmental and sustainability initiatives, fostering a culture that makes people not only want to work for them but fraud Hello. Above all, it not only looks good for the company, but what is correct.
In 2020, happy rock went from being an office-centric company to a remote-centric organization, with hundreds of Rockers (that’s what we call all co-workers!) working all over the world.
the decision of happy rock is built on the idea that the future of work is remote, not just for a globally integrated and diverse workforce, but for the betterment of the planet.
Employees receive a monthly bonus subsidy, which covers the cost of an individual’s electricity consumption. By setting our own work hours, we are encouraged to unplug, turn off the workstation, and get some fresh air.
Al will be an emerging, collaborative and people-powered company, happy rock is always open to developing its practices, finding ways to engage employees and promoting healthy environmental practices around the world. Whether it’s turning off devices in your home or cleaning and serving your community, Rock’s leadership inspires his employees to “think globally, act locally” to improve the world.