Jun 222020
Working from Home and the Environment
Share the Love of Healthy Living...

Welcome to my 'Working from Home and the Environment' post!

First of all, I must congratulate you for taking the time to do your research on this topic of green living. Working from home is the business design of the future. Many business are now looking into this sustainable business model. Teleworking has many benefits for the employee and the business owner. But did you know it also has a list of benefits for the environment?

Remote working reduces air pollution, greenhouse gases, conserves our natural resources, and promotes sustainable living. Here you will learn a list of environmental benefits of remote working which will enable us to have a sustainable future.

As a qualified teacher, I am passionate about education and the impact it can have on bettering our future. It is down to us individuals to do our research and make small changes to the way we live our lives. 

These small changes are easy to make and can have a big impact on our health, the health of our family and our environment. This website is designed for everyday people looking to make these changes. Here you will learn a legitimate way to go green. 

Let me be completely transparent with you, I am not here to pitch or sell anything to you. I am here to reveal and to assist you on your journey of going green! 

Sustainable Business Model...

The industrial revolution changed the way we live our lives and how we earn a living. It provided business opportunities within cites so people who had been living off the land stopped working the fields and took up the nine to five culture. This was an appropriate business model for this time.

However, this business model is damaging to the environment. We now have the technology for a sustainable business model. The internet, communication, and online innovations have made remote working a popular choice for employees and their employers. There is a work from home revolution taking place.

Environmental Benefits...

 When you first decide to start telecommuting, you often don't think about how working away from your work environment can reduce our impact on the planet and support the health of our planet. Working online can be very environmentally friendly as it uses less of the planet's natural resources, reduces pollution, climate change, and waste disposal.

Say Good-bye to Commuting...

Some people are fortunate enough to be able to walk, jog, or ride a bike to work every day. However, this is not an option for all of us. If you are already environmentally conscious, you may already have a greener transport solution such as car-sharing or using public methods of transport instead of driving. But for some of us, neither of these options is possible due to our work circumstances or physical abilities.

I have always enjoyed living in the country but most of the jobs are in the city. This is meant I have had to endure a commute in and out of the city each day. As a result, commuting to work was a daily chore that has huge impacts on my health and the health of the environment. It is stressful and exposes us to pollutants in the air.

On average, Americans spend 45 minutes commuting to work and back again at the end of the day. One of the most common exposures of air pollution is road vehicle emissions and the concentrations of these pollutants are particularly high in areas where there are lots of traffic. As a result, commuters face unavoidable exposure and this is especially bad when commuting during rush hour.

Several of the gases released into the atmosphere by vehicles contribute to air pollution are some are greenhouse gases. These gases are contributing to global warming. Greenhouse gases were involved in creating the current climate on Venus; inhabitable. Scientists all over the world believe that if we continue today's transportation culture, the temperature of the world will increase to a rate where we will no longer be able to slow it down.

Deciding to work from home has resulted in no commute. I have more time and produce far fewer carbon emissions than I ever have. This has greatly reduced my carbon footprint.


Reduce Air Pollution & Global Warming...

Commuting to work by a vehicle every day means burning gas and polluting the air we breathe. Transportation is the largest source of carbon emissions in the USA. Personal vehicles are often the single greatest polluter because many people drive vehicles designed to carry 5 people. These carbon emissions from millions of vehicles quickly add up, especially when we sit in traffic.

This is dangerous to our health and the health of the planet as it creates air pollution, greenhouse gases, and global warming. National Geographic say Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and a pollutant. Plants and animals release carbon dioxide naturally as they live and breathe. However, it is a human activity, such as transportation, that has caused the levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere to increase dramatically over the last century.

Remote working reduces your need to commute and as a result, less carbon dioxide is released into the environment. This reduction in pollution is going to reduce global warming. You may be thinking that one person isn't going to make a difference. I ask you to stop. Right. There. We have to look at the bigger picture. The more people that start teleworking, the bigger the impact we will have on a global scale.

I am currently considering selling my car. I only use it when going on long-distance drives, which is rare. My store is local and my partner has a vehicle. We both work remotely and don't need two vehicles.

Conserve our Natural Resources...

Gasoline comes from fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are one of the planet's non-renewable natural resources. They take a long time to produce and replace, millions of years. It takes so long that it is easier to view them as impossible to replace. Telework reduces our need to use this precious natural resource.

By their very nature, office spaces and work environments use up natural resources. A typical office contains equipment that many home environments don't need or already have. Let s take a look at the design of a normal office. Most offices are made up of cubicles where the original large space is turned into small spaces using cubicle walls. These walls are made from wood particles, glue, and petroleum fiber. Petroleum is made from fossil fuels.

Green alternatives, that are made from renewable sources are more expensive. Many office spaces are built on a budget and paying extra for equipment is not an option. The same goes for furniture such as office chairs, desks, conference tables, etc. Many people already have office spaces at their home and if they don't have an office they usually have space where they could work, e.g. a table.

By working remotely we can use the spaces we already have and reduce the need for building more office spaces, which results in the consumption of resources. If there is less demand for office equipment, there will be less manufactured from the limited resources we have.

Create Less Waste...

Not only do office spaces use up natural resources, but they also create lots of unnecessary waste. We can look at this from the perspective of the equipment that is used to create office spaces but also from the perspective of day to day waste.

All waste needs disposing of. All the office furniture needed to create the office will get used, worn and at some point, it will need replacing. Unfortunately, we live in an era where presentation is more important to use than preserving the planet's natural resources. People dispose of perfectly working pieces of equipment, the minute they get a scratch.

Sadly lots of office furniture and equipment end up in a landfill. This includes lots of electrical equipment such as printers, copiers, computers, projectors, tablets, and other devices that are made from harmful elements. Some of these toxins include lithium, lead, and bromine. When they are disposed into landfills, they break down into our environment.

With the work from home business model, companies restrict how much toxic waste they produce. This also saves them money because they won't need to buy a lot of electronic equipment in the first place. Most people already have these gadgets in their homes, not being used when they are at work.

Often offices encourage frequent paper waste. How many people have spent time on a document, printed it, and then been told its needs editing slightly? This document is likely to wind up in the trash. The employee will make amendments to the document and keep printing off copies until it is finalized. Some work environments encourage paper recycling and this is a great start. However, colored ink contains toxins.

When this paper is composted, these toxins release into our environment. If you want to reduce paper waste, I would recommend stopping color printing. If this is not possible, reduce color printing only to the times when needed. Have a box for black and white printing and a box for colored printing. This is only effective if the place where you recycle separates the two.

When you work from home, you are more likely to send documents to your colleagues via email. Feedback is given and documents are updated and finalized without even touching a piece of paper. This stops millions of trees ending up in files, archives, and landfill each year. This also demonstrates how working from home promotes forest conservation.


Use Less Energy...

Maintaining the environment of an office building uses a lot of energy. Employees need power so that they can see what they are doing and use the equipment. In the cold weather, employers need to ensure that it is warm enough inside so that employees are comfortable and in the hot weather you need to ensure that it is cool enough inside.

Much of this demand for energy is met by the power produced in power plants, by the burning of nonrenewable fuels such as coal or oil. It is expensive a seems wasteful. Especially when most employees are already managing their home environment to make it comfortable for them, their family, and their pets.

Many companies are now considering what they could do with the money they save by encouraging their employees to work from home. This money that employees save could be used for a variety of different things, e.g. the growth or development of the company, or increase the salaries of their employees. 

Working from Home and the Environment: The Final Verdict!

This sustainable business model is how we will be working in the future. Some industries will find it quicker and easier to adopt this model than others. Using this model for your business means you are keeping up with the changing times which will likely affect your future success.

If you have questions, please feel free to drop them below. I look forward to hearing from you.

Share the Love of Healthy Living...

Reader Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing the great content! Really inspiring! I think people around the world should have the awareness to save resources and protect the earth. To your future success!

  2. Totally agree with your post. Working from home will definitely have positive affects to our environment and save us money in the long run. You stated that you plan to sell your car due to less driving nowadays – if you do plan to keep just one, you can still lower your insurance costs as well.

    As a teacher, it was difficult to work from home and teach my special needs students. They crave face to face contact and need modeling using all their senses to learn. I’m spending my summer learning how to teach better online.

    This is our new normal that whether we like it or not, we need to learn to adapt. And I’m sure Mother Nature appreciates us for that.

    1. Yes, there are some jobs that just can not be done at home. I used to teach special needs too and think that all children really do need one on one real-life support. Thank you for reading.

  3. Great piece on working from home. The COVID 19 pandemic has certainly turned the business world on its head. I work at a major car parts accessory dealer in Australia.

    The last month has seen all our head office inquiries being sent out to the specialists at their houses.

    A lot more businesses will go there quickly now that they are more aware of it.

  4. This is a great post, Catherine. It offers me totally different look and an extra reason why to choose to work remotely. I shifted to work from home, mostly in order to create my own schedule( to be free to work whenever I want and to earn whatever I want), but with this info we’ve got from you, I am even more confident in that I made a right choice, as I am going to help the environment. You are completely right and I agree with you, that the present model of people commuting to work is just very unhealthy for the environment. I have to say that still more and more companies here in the Netherlands, are allowing their employees to work from home, hopefully it will be spread to other parts of the world too. Best luck for the future!

    1. I am delighted to hear that you have made this environmentally friendly decision that will also benefit your own personal health. Yes, more and more companies are looking into this business model and it is growing in popularity. I think that this revolution is moving so fast that the companies who decide not to join may end up seeing a longterm financial loss but this is just my opinion.

      All the very best and good luck with your remote business.

  5. This is one of the best posts on this topic I’ve read so far! It makes me glad to be a part of the third and the most significant revolution in human history. Each revolution had its benefits as well as damage. The internet is taking over the world and finally (I hope) people are starting to recognize this awesome time we live in. Thanks for sharing this post and keep up the great work with your site.

    1. Hi Ivan, many people look at the personal advantages of working from home but there is defiantly a much bigger and more important aspect here. We are in the middle of a climate crisis and working from home could reduce our carbon emissions, slow down climate change and allow scientists the time to come up with the discoveries we need to fix the situation and build a sustainable future.

      The power of the internet really is phenomenal! Thank you for reading, I am pleased you enjoyed it.

  6. In a Global Pandemic such as the Covid-19, a lot of businesses are looking at new ways to make their business sustainable.

    I would understand that remote work is very beneficial – less pollution, use of less energy, etc – but I would say that companies need employees to work in their office and businesses.

    However, I would also go on to say that companies should have a model where half of their employees can work from home.

    1. Hi, yes for some roles working from home just isn’t possible. Much research has gone into finding the right balance of working from home and working in this office and the most effective combination seems to be three days at home and two days in the office. Employees report being able to get more work done on a schedule like this.

      That being said, people work at different paces and there are lots of online working platforms businesses can use. This provides a place where everybody can have access to the information they need at the time that best suits them.

      I think that every business is different and employers need to do some experimenting to find out with the method is best suited for them.

  7. Hi Jeff, I am trying to look at the positive outcomes of the COVID-19 epidemic and I think the reduction in carbon gases along with more people working from home has to be the two biggest benefits. I think it is a shame that many places are re-opening because the environment needs a longer break.

    I am hopeful that more and more businesses will see the benefit is the remote working business model.

  8. I absolutely love the ideas on your post! I am very happy that I am able to work from home, given that the employer takes the responsibility to provide me with the right equipment including a health and safety checked desk. If an employee does not have a fit for purpose space/furniture in the home, the employer should provide it too.

    I think this idea will be a big benefit to people and as well as the environment.

    Best of luck and thank you for this amazing share.

    1. Hi, it is always good to hear from people who are already enjoying the benefits of working from home. I think that it is wonderful that your employer-provided you with a desk to work from too. Although many people will already have a space to work from I think this will benefit some people and will still aid the reductions of our natural resources. All the very best with your remote work.

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