Remote Work: A Sustainable Solution for a Greener Future

Ayda Ecem Çele

Ayda Ecem Çele

08 Nov 2022

Experience tranquility and adventure with Spiky.ai in a picturesque mountain setting, perfect for remote working.

In 2017, Barley, Bechky, and Millian said that the most significant working experiment was done during the pandemic: ”What happens if companies switch to remote work?”. This experiment, which concludes with accelerating a long-term trend toward flexible, remote working and digitalization, continues to change how companies work. Everyone is now familiar with the concept of working remotely. Companies are now trying to determine which remote work options will provide the most benefit going forward.

One very interesting yet somewhat less talked about benefit is the impact remote work has had on improving the environment. In other words, remote working is eco-friendly. According to research from Spain’s Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals, remote work significantly affects air quality. The study suggests that the amount of nitrogen dioxide, a major pollutant from traffic emissions, is reduced by around 10%. This pollutant reduction was achieved by working remotely four days a week, which means fewer cars on the roads. Let’s think 3.9 million people work from home at least half of the time. Global Workplace Analytics estimates it would take 91 million trees to be planted to repeat the same emission reduction.

Fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions are well-acknowledged to impact climate change significantly. Once again, since fewer people are driving, there is a remarkable reduction in the usage of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions due to remote working. According to Xerox, its teleworkers drove 92 million fewer miles in 2015, saving 4.6 million gallons of fuel and decreasing carbon dioxide emissions by about 41,000 metric tons. This is just one single company.

The amount of physical office resources employees use in a single workday is enormous. The exchange of papers among employees or outside partners is digitalized through remote working, resulting in a significant decrease in paper use. Consider how much time, space, and paper are saved by digital documentation. No more large sealed rooms for print copies, labels, and archives! Furthermore, since employees do not use plastic cups in the office, plastic usage will reduce overall. Moreover, due to the requirements of the working environment, office spaces typically use more energy. An office must have an efficient heating and cooling system, several computers and data servers, overloaded printing equipment, etc. When workers work from home, all of these criteria are reduced. Consumption is predominantly influenced by office worker behavior. It’s more likely that employees won’t want to turn off the lights as frequently as they would at home. According to statistics, every employee who works from home annually decreases energy use by at least 5,400kWh.

The shift from physical to remote work might help save our world for future generations. As Spiky, we believe in this message and have committed to working 100% remotely not just for all of our employees but also for a greener and more sustainable environment. Come join us in this eco-revolution!


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