For many office workers there is little reason to go to the office thanks to the advances in technology (it seems the only reason to be in an actual office is to be watched by a manager). The environmental gains from telecommuting are obvious and the cost saving for workers and the employers are also obvious, so why isn’t telecommuting more popular? Companies are looking into their work-from-home practices due to the outbreak of the most recent coronavirus. One positive thing that might come out of the bad news of the flu is that we commuting will be easier for all of us.
The carbon benefits of working from home largely depend on how a person gets to work. If you’re like me and take a train to work, staying home doesn’t do all that much to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. If you’re among the 76 percent of Americans who drive to work alone, then staying home a couple days a week could dramatically reduce your individual carbon footprint while also reducing all the congestion and pollution that results from so many cars on the road.
In the ideal world, the positives would be enough to encourage employers to create flexible work policies. However, saving money is the real push, said Lister. Luckily for the planet, economics and the environment go hand in handthese days, so companies are also seeing the financial benefits of setting and meeting internal sustainability goals. These work-from-home measures may appeal to investors (and consumers!) that are interested in a company’s environmental and societal impact.