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In recent years the practise of working from home has shifted from an employee perk to a more commonly seen way of working enjoyed by many Australians. Working from home can be great for your physical and mental wellbeing and your pocket. But how about the environment? Maybe you’re thinking: surely avoiding driving or taking public transport to and from the office is positive for the environment? The answer is not so clear cut. In this blog I look at a few things to be mindful of to become a climate conscious remote worker.
1. Heating and cooling your home
One of the main ways working from home can actually increase your carbon footprint (compared with a regular day at the office) is through inefficient use of heating and cooling systems in your home. A report from Carbon Trust in the USA found that homeworkers heating the entire house for just one hour or one room for 7 hours would eliminate the carbon emissions savings of the average commute.
2. Home office setup
Your home office should provide you with a productive and ergonomic place to get your work done when you’re not at the office. The equipment and lighting you use will have implications for your carbon footprint.
3. Avoiding consumables waste
While working from home, you might take the opportunity to visit your local coffee or grocery shop during a break. Your purchasing power when it comes to consumable items contributes to your carbon emissions
4. Reducing meat/dairy consumption
With all the time in the morning you saved from your commute, perhaps you’ve swapped your muesli for a morning fry-up with extra bacon. Meat consumption can have a significant impact on your carbon footprint, in fact many people say it is the ‘single biggest way’ individuals can reduce their emissions.
5. Do you need to travel in the first place?
There is no blanket rule for how your daily commute contributes to your environmental footprint. We all live varying distances from our workplace and use different modes of transportation every day. A climate conscious worker might consider their own situation and how this relates to commuting
Here I’ve looked at 5 simple ways to reduce your climate impact as a remote worker. I’m sure there are plenty more. If you’d like to join the discussion, leave a comment below or get in touch with us at virtualofficeAU@deloitte.com.au.
Rowan is a consultant & designer in Deloitte Digital’s Customer Strategy and Experience Design Sydney practice. He is passionate about the role design and technology play in facilitating great experiences and lasting social and ecological impact.