Working From Home: A Greener Alternative?

The world is now coming out of a completely unprecedented landscape, and people are starting to recall what normality feels like. People would have faced many difficulties during this time including loss and job insecurity, and some may have used activities like online gambling to find some enjoyment during this period. There is no doubt that this is a globally loved form of entertainment, and players who want to access many other new options will find that it is as equally fun now as it was during the lockdown periods.

As humans, we enjoy being optimistic and it might be useful to look at what we have gained following recent world events. Humanity has been able to band together to fight adversity – an effort that was rewarded by the fast development of a vaccine that has allowed the world to return to some semblance of life before the pandemic.

Another thing that has arisen from this time is the concept of working from home. While this was already practised by many people before the last few years occurred, it was in no way the most common way of working. However, when it was not feasible for many people to into their place of work, for a time, working from home became the norm and virtually everyone who worked in an office had to participate in this model at some point. Initially, many would have dreaded this new way of working – it was viewed as a lonely experience devoid of social interaction not to mention the plethora of distractions that can occur at home. However, people soon realised this was not the case.

Even now that people can return to their place of work, many still opt to stay at home and work. One of the reasons for this is because many believe that working from home is better for the environment, and on a surface level, this should seem obvious. There will be fewer cars polluting the atmosphere whether this is pacing along the motorway or idling in traffic. Also, the fact that employees are working from home should translate into less electricity consumed at the office and less heating needing to be used. This is because there are fewer desks that need to be accommodated for. Given these benefits, it should be obvious how working from home is greener for the planet. However, this might not be the case.

Many people seem to think that splitting time between the home and the office can lead to worse environmental impacts than if people just worked at the office full-time. This is in the face of companies gradually preferring the hybrid approach over all other models. When people leave to go to work, their homes should be consuming little to no energy. This is because the place of work should fulfil the energy demands of most workers. When people work from home, however, both the home and the office will be consuming electricity, illustrating that the hybrid approach can actually be more harmful to the environment as it promotes a greater electricity demand.

Of course, many people argue that this negative is offset by the fact that a reduced number of motorists on the road will help in reducing overall pollution, which is certainly a fact to consider. The truth is, more research is needed into what the net impact of each working model is, and only then can businesses start to make the hard decisions about which to implement.