Beneficial Effects of Remote Working on the Environment

Beneficial Effects of Remote Working on the Environment

The past two years implemented many changes in everyone's life. Right from the way of living life to the working pattern, everything went into modification with time and circumstances.

In India, the concept of working from home was not much practised. Yet, the time taught people to follow the practice of working from home without being under the surveillance of the company people.

Many employees were forced to work from home in 2020 due to lockdown measures. At first glance, it might look like a better option to follow because of reduced uses of natural resources such as time and energy.

There were many great changes taking place due to restrictions offered by pandemics. Let us learn more about the change in working pattern that is the normalization of remote working and its effect on the environment below.

Effect of Pandemic on Working Pattern
Is Remote Working a Better Option for the Environment?
How to Continue With Remote Working Without Affecting the Quality of Work and Environment?
Advantages of Remote Working
Environmental Benefits of Remote Working

Effect of Pandemic on Working Pattern

Pandemic brought several changes with it. People started giving more attention to their lifestyle, habits, and mental health rather than following the same pattern every day. Apart from these basic things, there was another great thing to note about the lockdown effect and it was the reduction in scope 3 emission.

Scope 3 emission stands for those greenhouse gasses that are indirectly caused by an organization without them being held accountable for them. The pandemic effect indirectly caused the reduction in scope 3 emissions by lowering the emission from business trips, internal operations, etc.

The estimated percentage for reduced scope 3 emission was around 65% during the pandemic.
The estimated percentage for reduced scope 3 emission was around 65% during the pandemic.

Transportation contributes to about 25% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Europe and 28% in the United States. Reducing transportation use results in fewer tonnes of CO2 being emitted into the environment.  

According to Daniela Friedli of Umweltarena, if 450,000 people in Switzerland continued to work from home after the Coronavirus, traffic would be reduced by 1.3 billion kilometres per year, resulting in a decrease of 100,000 tonnes of CO2. And by the restriction of covid-19, these things were almost made real.

Yet, we can't rule out reductions due to reduced capacity and the closure of some offices, though the energy savings were lower than expected due to Covid-19 health and safety requirements, which required HVAC (heating, ventilation, and cooling) systems to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to flush out any virus lingering in the offices.

Is Remote Working a Better Option for the Environment?

Living simply in our houses has prompted many people to reconsider their more materialistic and consumerist lives before the outbreak. Is it really necessary to have the most up-to-date fashion or the most up-to-date gadget?

Throughout their life cycles, consumer goods contribute to climate change: raw material extraction, processing, shipping, retail, and storage, as well as consumer use and disposal, all result in carbon emissions. Perhaps we won't be as susceptible to the intentional obsolescence that is inherent in fashion and many other commercial goods.

As an impression of the above-stated facts and the advantages offered by remote working, it is still better to continue the practice of working from home even after the passing of the pandemic and its restrictions.

Remote working does provide the needed support to its employees, but it is also understandable that not all jobs can be fulfilled by remote working. Remote working is for specified people and needs the same dedication as the other types of working patterns.

Before completely agreeing to the practice, let us first consider a few points such as How to continue with the practice, the advantages of following work-from-home practice, the environmental benefits of remote working, and some other essential points.

Is It Better to Work From Home or From an Office?
The debate between working from home or an office is still on in 2022, So, here are a few pros and cons to help you decide which is better.

How to Continue Remote Working Without Affecting the Quality of Work and Environment?

  • Maintain a comfortable working environment by controlling the temperature. Don't use the air conditioner or heater excessively.
  • Printing documents on paper is not recommended. Some applications allow you to print and sign documents in digital format.
  • Instead of holding face-to-face meetings, hold virtual ones.
  • Cook your meals for the entire family at home to avoid wasting food.
  • Try to maintain a working pattern irrespective of the place and other factors affecting the workplace.

Advantages of Remote Working

Working from home in a "normal" scenario (i.e., without being responsible for the children) has not only favourable environmental consequences but also positive consequences in other areas:

The home office shows an increase in work productivity by minimizing distractions from coworkers by setting proper work patterns.

  • It alleviates the stress produced by traffic on the way to work on an emotional level.
  • It makes it easier to strike a better balance between personal and professional obligations. It is, nevertheless, advisable to set definite working hours at home to avoid ‘working' all day.
  • On the financial side, minimizing transportation costs can be achieved by purchasing fewer public transportation tickets or using less gasoline in your vehicle.
  • Remote working gives a better sense of comfort when compared with work from the office.
  • A person can look forward to accomplishing their task in both places without the need to compromise and ultimately improve their ability of multitasking.
The above graph shows the different benefits of remote working and the percentage of employees in favor of different perks
The above graph shows the different benefits of remote working and the percentage of employees in favour of different perks

Environmental Benefits of Remote Working

Switching from regular working patterns to remote working is surely one of the intelligent decisions to make. As remote working does not only have advantages for the employee but it is also known to benefit the environment. And what can be better than a healthy environment? The benefits of remote working in the environment are:

  • Remote working decreases the scope 3 emission as it does not require a person to travel daily.
  • Eventually, remote working decreases the greenhouse effect by the means of travelling, additional use of vehicles, and any other possible services that can easily be avoided by simply making a change.
  • Remote working is also recorded to decrease the use of plastic. As many employees are in the habit of having a drink in the office at a few intervals which indirectly increases the plastic waste count.
  • With the introduction of remote working, one can have higher chances of experiencing clean air by reducing the use of vehicles.
  • While working in an office, employees take the help of many free resources provided by the company. Such as the use of papers without keeping track of their use, etc. By shifting to a remote working pattern these wastes can be avoided and the pages can be used for better purposes.
  • All sorts of pollution can be avoided by remote working. People will not prefer to travel at the time of work as they can easily do the work from their own selected place. This will eradicate the need for travelling causing reduced traffic on roads and fewer crowds in public transport.
  • There will be less requirement for power consumption and they are after effect on the environment for generating power.

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Environmental hazards are very much dangerous to human life. A proper strategy and rules are required to decrease them. Yet, there is no 100% working technique found up to date to stop them completely.

One major technique for improving the environmental condition is shifting from regular working patterns to remote working. The effect of remote working on the environment as well as its benefits has been shared in the above context.


Does remote working reduce carbon footprint?

Yes, remote working can help to reduce carbon footprint if proper measures are taken into consideration.

How does remote work impact the environment?

Remote work positively impacts the environment. It allows the environment to breathe clean air by reducing carbon emissions to some percentage.

What are the benefits of remote working?

There are many benefits of remote working. Some of them are that remote working provides better comfort to the employee. The employees can take care of the home as well as office work simultaneously, remote working also helps to reduce carbon emission, etc.

Is working remotely sustainable?

Yes, remote working is considered a sustainable working model. However, it might have changed as per the person applying the model. The sustainability of the remote working model is different for different individuals.

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