Remote Work: Beneficial Both for the Planet and for Business

By Brooke Schlesinger

Remote work is a boon for businesses, but it’s also good for the planet. Remote work decreases your carbon footprint by cutting down on commuting time, minimizes waste by reducing office supplies, encourages efficient use of resources with teleconferencing and video calls, and increases your hiring pool by expanding your international workforce and client base. Let’s take a look at how each of these can benefit your business:

Reduce Commuting Time

The average American spends about 50 minutes each day commuting. This is time that could be spent doing something more productive, like catching up on your favorite shows or reading a book. Commuting also costs the average American $1,100 annually in lost productivity and higher fuel expenses.

It’s not just wasted time and money—commuting is bad for the environment too! A recent report suggests that transportation accounts for 27% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., making it one of the largest sources of pollution in our country today. This means that reducing your commute can have an immediate impact on reducing your carbon footprint and saving you money on gas bills (not to mention being healthier for you).

Remote Work: A laptop on a picnic table with greenery and a lake in the distance

Minimize Office Waste

One of the most obvious benefits of a remote work setup is that you can minimize office waste. This is great for both your company’s bottom line and the environment.

According to a study done by Adobe Acrobat, cutting down on paper waste by switching to remote documents will save your company money and have a huge positive environmental impact. In their study of 1,500 employees in the UK, workers were printing out 20,000 pages per year and losing 28 working days a year on tasks related to paperwork. It is a huge environmental and time waste.

Office waste is a huge problem. It takes up about 30% of landfills in the United States, according to Business Insider. That’s a lot of space—and it’s growing every day! Reuse, recycle, and reduce are all ways to help minimize what ends up in landfills each year. Here are some ways you can do this at your office:

  • Use paperless options instead of printing documents (e-mailing them or sharing via cloud storage); avoid printing things like brochures and other marketing materials unless absolutely necessary.
  • Don’t use disposable cups or utensils; buy reusable ones instead.

If you find yourself with a lot of extra office supplies, donate them to a local charity or school. You can also check out websites like Freecycle, which matches people who want something with people who have it!

Encourage Efficient Use of Resources

Of course, there are benefits to remote work that go beyond your bottom line. Remote workers can also do their part to help out the environment. By being more efficient with their use of resources and reducing their carbon footprint, remote workers have an opportunity to save energy and waste, which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute positively to our planet’s health.

If you want this kind of change but don’t know where to start, there are lots of ways you can encourage it in your company. For instance:

  • Offer hybrid work as an option, to begin with.
  • Promote remote work in your company culture by highlighting the benefits it can have on employees and the environment.
  • Set up a green team to encourage employees to reduce their carbon footprint and be more conscious about their use of resources.

Increase Teleconference and Video Calls

One of the most obvious benefits of remote working is that you can use video conferencing to avoid costly travel. If a meeting is out of town, you can simply hop on a Zoom or Teams call and be there with your team. You’ll spend less time in transit and more time working—and get paid for it! In addition to saving money on travel, video conferencing makes it easier for employees who work remotely from other countries or states to meet with their coworkers in person.

If your business has an office that’s traditionally based around teleconferencing systems (or audio-only calls), consider switching over completely to video technology as often as possible when running meetings or holding training sessions. You’ll save space, equipment costs and even some time spent setting up a room just right for audio-only usage. With modern video conferencing software like Google Hangouts or Zoom, anyone can host an important meeting without having all their employees come into one place at once—in fact, they might not even need any furniture at all!

Increase Your Hiring Pool

When you’re hiring remote workers, your hiring pool is essentially the entire world. With the right tools and processes in place, you can easily find qualified candidates who live outside of your city or country—or even on another continent. This gives you access to a much larger talent pool than if you were only looking for people within driving distance of your office.

You also have more control over which candidates are best suited for the job; if someone isn’t local, that doesn’t mean they won’t be able to do it well! If a candidate lives in Colorado, but your company is based in New York, they can still be a good fit if the work isn’t location specific, like communications, HR, finance, or tech positions.

Expand International Workforce and Client Base

You’ll have a much better chance of hiring the best people from around the world.

There are lots of reasons why hiring remote workers can help expand your workforce and client base. This includes people who can’t physically commute to your office. If you live in an area with limited public transportation, it could be difficult for job seekers who cannot drive or don’t have access to a car. Similarly, if someone is disabled or elderly, they may not be able to get around easily enough to make it into an office every day of work.

By allowing employees to work remotely, you open up opportunities for those individuals who wouldn’t otherwise have them available due to physical limitations or other reasons that keep them from being able to commute every day to their jobs.

Those living outside your region: You might find yourself wanting or needing someone with specific skills who lives outside of where you do—but if all your employees were local only (and therefore didn’t need any additional training or education), then this would never happen! Remote work allows people who live far away from each other but come together over technology like Skype meetings (or Slack chats) so they can collaborate effectively even though their locations might differ greatly from one another’s physical ones

Environmentally-Friendly Technology

If you’re looking to reduce your environmental impact, remote work can be a great option. While working from home or on the road may seem like an inefficient use of resources, the reality is that many remote working professionals use technology that reduces their carbon footprint and lowers their greenhouse gas emissions. Of course, it’s a complicated question as to whether working from home is better for the environment, and depends on many factors.

Remote workers are leveraging eco-friendly tools like Skype for business calls and video chats so that they don’t need to travel as much. These tools also give you access to knowledgeable experts no matter where you are in the world.

This saves time and money by allowing companies to hire from anywhere without having to build out large offices or hire new employees in each city or country where they want a presence. This can also save money on travel expenses such as taxis, hotels and food while traveling abroad for meetings; instead of spending thousands of dollars per trip on travel costs alone (not including productivity loss due to jet lag), most businesses only need internet access which costs less than $10 per month!

If you’re interested in boosting efficiency while reducing costs (including energy consumption), consider making some simple changes today to your home office:

  • Swap out your incandescent light bulbs for LED ones that last longer and use less energy than traditional bulbs.
  • Set up a power management system on your computer to automatically shut down when not in use.
  • Upgrade to a smart thermostat that can be controlled remotely via a smartphone app so you can save money on heating and cooling costs throughout the year.

Teams can be More Efficient

When you have your team working together in the same office, especially when it’s a small business, there’s a lot of extra work that goes into keeping everyone on the same page and communicating effectively.

In a remote team environment, there are fewer distractions and interruptions. You can focus on getting things done and get them done quickly. As an employer, this means less time spent managing your workforce and more time working with customers or building products because you’re not wasting time keeping people updated about what they need to do next or making sure no one misses anything important in communication channels like Slack or email threads.

As an employee, you’ll have more time to focus on the important things and less time wasted on tasks that don’t matter. This can help you get ahead of your competition because you can work faster without sacrificing quality.

Final Thoughts on the Benefits of Remote Work

Remote work can benefit your company, your employees, and the planet. By working remotely you’re reducing carbon emissions that contribute to climate change and creating healthier indoor environments. You’re also giving your employees more flexibility in their schedules and environments in which they work—and by extension helping them be more productive.

And finally, if you choose to let go of the office entirely (by moving into the digital realm), you’ll save on office space while improving employee satisfaction. The ultimate result? A thriving business that’s making a positive impact on the world around it!

All of the above work to reduce waste and pollution, but they also have a direct impact on your business. By ensuring that your employees can work remotely, you’re able to save money on office space and equipment and boost productivity. When people are happy at work, they tend to stay longer—and be more productive while they’re there.