Is working from home environmentally friendly?

An increasing number of businesses and employees around the world continue to embrace hybrid working, putting into the spotlight the home setup like never before. As well as a lack of commuting time, less expenses and work-life balance coming into the mix, is the lack of commute making a big difference to the environment? 

As the UK looks to build and move into a post-pandemic society, potential eco benefits are beginning to be highlighted. Eco experts have shared that although less travel such as driving to work does have benefits for the environment, it also comes down to your personal habits. 

Giki helps people to live more sustainably; and their co-founder James Hand, has highlighted two key things for society to think about. 

He began by asking: “One: How much energy do you save by not travelling to work? Two: How much extra energy do you use by being at home?’

“This makes it a little different for everyone.

“The important thing is that whilst working from home offers some great potential carbon cutting benefits, people need to think about their personal circumstances to make sure they’re maximising the impact.”

James went on to highlight methods used to commute to work. 

‘For example, an individual who drives to work in a large car will save a lot more than someone who has a short train journey,’ James says.

So, if you’ve cut out a huge commute to work – especially one that wasn’t on public transport – you’re already reducing your carbon footprint before the workday starts.

James adds: ‘One other benefit is that people at home tend to buy less packaging, whether that’s for lunch or reusable coffee cups.

‘This helps to cut back on single use plastic.’

This point in particular could have much relevance to how workers dispose of their lunch packaging; due to avoiding prepped lunch from home because you may be in a rush. Food packaging from potential supermarkets and other takeout restaurants may not be able to be recycled. 

However when working from home, you’re likely to reuse cups, plates and cutlery, saving packaging and food waste.