It’s been about a year since the first wave of lockdowns swept the globe and many people have had a flexible work arrangement ever since. Most of those people actually much prefer working flexibly to the traditional 9-5 in the office. Employees now have more autonomy over when and where they work and employers can save huge amounts of money on office rentals.
There is also a third party benefiting from flexible work arrangements – our planet. In fact, carbon emissions decreased in 2020 due to there being fewer people driving during the CoVID-19 lockdowns. However, there is still room for progress. In this article, we’ll look at how flexible work arrangements have impacted our planet. Who knows, you might even get some creative ideas on how you improve your organization’s work arrangement!
Flexible work arrangements reduce our carbon footprint
Remote working is an attractive option to many people as they will no longer have to deal with the dreaded commute to work. After all, all telecommuting requires is an internet connection! Not only does this save money, but it also saves a lot of time too.
However, the impact of telecommuting on the environment is severely underrated. With fewer people spending upwards of one hour a day on the roads, our overall carbon footprint has dropped significantly.
If more people were to begin working from home, greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by as much as the equivalent of 10 million cars. The fact that such a simple action – telecommuting – could have such a drastically positive impact on Planet Earth is truly amazing. Plus, who likes to be stuck in traffic all morning and evening anyway?
Coworking spaces with a green approach
Coworking spaces are a great way for organizations to save costs on office rentals while still providing their employees with an office-like workspace that could be closed to their homes, again, making savings in transportation .In addition, most come with a whole host of perks and benefits you certainly would not find in a traditional office space. These include on-site cafes and restaurants, rooftop terraces, social events, free refreshments, etc. Some coworking spaces, however, go the extra mile and ensure they are as environmentally friendly as possible.
O2 Work stands out as a particularly green coworking space. Apart from the lush, elegant greenery that decorates the space, they have a number of sustainable practices in place. For example, the cutlery is all reusable, the furniture is made from eco-friendly materials, and their space is designed to encourage electricity and water saving. A green sanctuary in the concrete jungle of Singapore, it calls on the peace and tranquillity of nature to help you get in the right mindset for productive work.
Banyan Workspace in Hong Kong is another excellent example of a green workspace. This boutique shared office is luxuriously decorated and boasts a beautiful view of Kowloon Bay, certain to get anyone in a positive mood! All their furniture is made from eco-friendly materials and they’ve organized one of the largest recycling programmes in Hong Kong’s coworking industry. Plus, part of their revenue is donated to local NGOs – helping you give back to your community. This week you can get a 10% discount on day passess to celebrate earth day, please mention ‘earthday’ on your booking with FLYDESK.
Making the workplace more environmentally friendly
Now that you’ve read a little about what others are doing in order to help Planet Earth, you’re probably thinking, well, what can I do? Telecommuting more often is one way, but there are actually plenty of day-to-day things you can do in the workplace to be a little more eco-friendly.
We’ve listed a few simple steps you can take here:
- Use your own mugs/cutlery/containers – Instead of using plastic cups at the coffee machine, bring your own mug and wash it. Instead of getting a takeaway in a plastic container, bring your own reusable Tupperware. This simple action will greatly reduce the amount of single-use plastic you throw away.
- Turn off all the lights every evening – Remind everyone to turn off all the lights, air conditioning, etc if they’re the last to leave the office. If part of the office is empty, turn the lights in that section off.
- Go paperless – Keep digital copies and archives of all your important documents. Communicate documents via email. Make notes directly on your computer.
- Keep a small potted plant on your desk – Not only does this make your office more green, but it will certainly brighten up your day too!
Encourage your colleagues to create a more eco-friendly work environment with you. You can even have brainstorming sessions to come up with more fun and exciting ways to make your workspace greener.
Moving towards a more sustainable business model
Several corporations around the world have begun the shift towards more sustainable business models. Certified B Corporations are a good example of this – they refer to businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability. By balancing profit and purpose, these businesses work towards building a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
Businesses with this certification have demonstrated their commitment to their workers, customers, community and the environment. There are currently over 3,500 certified B Corporations in 70 countries, and this number is rapidly growing. Organizations all around the world are realizing the value of sustainable business models and are coming up with more and more creative ways to tackle this challenge.
Flexible working may have been forced into popularity by the CoVID-19 pandemic but after a year, it’s clear that it has had a positive impact on more than just employees and employers. Every small step towards a more sustainable future matters!
If you’re interested in booking a coworking space, or would like to learn more about flexible work arrangements and therefore help contribute to our planet, contact us at FLYDESK.