Last year, people learned about a new and unexpected home office experience due to the coronavirus. Many companies sent their employees away, to work from home. That had numerous consequences for the economy. From one point of view, online shopping was booming, but on the other hand, streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Video, and Disney+ were in their rush hour. But what many companies didn’t want to admit suddenly turned out to be their reality.
Productivity in a home office is by no means worse than it would be in a real office. On the contrary, some studies have even shown that employee productivity rises even higher in some cases. In addition, companies found out that numerous employees discovered the home office for themselves. They stated that they would not want to lose the advantages of working from home in the future either. Thus, many companies would like to offer this to their employees in the long run.
A Smaller Carbon Footprint
In addition, there is another advantage which concerns climate protection. Those who work at home do not commute nor do they need a heated open-plan office and so they reduce their carbon footprint. An environmental protection organisation Carbon Trust have done an analysis of the data which shows that the home office trend drastically cuts emissions harmful to the climate. The client was the Vodafone Institute. But for this effect to occur, the working and living conditions have to be correct. They are just as important as the time of year. In detail, the study indicated that the CO2 footprint of people in the home office has recently shrunk by 72 percent.
Different Effects Depending on the Season
There are many reasons for this such as there is no time wasted on going to work or being stuck in a traffic jam. The research took place in Germany, Great Britain, Sweden, Italy, Spain, and the Czech Republic. People found out that 18.4 million people worked from home around 3.5 days a week in Germany. Of course, it had a significant impact on the carbon footprint. The elimination of daily commutig to work weighed in heavily, but the lower energy consumption of non-operational offices was even more significant. Home offices could not make up for this. The bottom line was that working from home contributed to a substantial reduction in climate-damaging emissions.
Naturally, this effect is different in winter than in summer. Because then the employees have to heat their own four walls more. The difference is much smaller than, for example, in summer. But this is not the same for all countries. The more fossil fuels a country uses, the less of a difference it makes on a balance sheet. But in warmer countries, such as Spain, there are more air conditioning systems in the summer. That proves that people are very much in control of finding ways and means to reduce their carbon footprint significantly. Now, it is essential to use the newly gained knowledge to create habits for work.