Two years ago, the number of businesses that promoted home or flexible working was low. Who knew it would take a global pandemic to make business fast track to enable their employees to work at home?
Remote working provides benefits to both businesses and workers, but have you also considered the sustainability aspect?
Here are just some of the ways remote working can help your business run more sustainably.
Reduce your office space, and your running costs
Having more of your employees working from home will mean that a lot of your office space will go to waste. Not everyone will want to work from home every day, but that doesn’t mean you need to keep your large office space.
Moving to smaller office space has its benefits – you might have less of a need for individual offices, allowing greater transparency and better collaboration for your business. All of this leads to reduced running costs and reduced energy use, helping your business operate much more sustainably as one of the changes you can make to your business right now; moving to a smaller office could save your business money while making it greener.
Take advantage of opportunities to outsource
A growing business typically takes on more employees to help cope with demand and an expansion of services. This leads to increased costs for your business thanks to paying salaries and benefits, purchasing equipment, etc. But if your business will embrace more homeworking, it could mean that you get the opportunity to outsource instead.
Outsourcing areas like IT, live call answering services, and sales and marketing could all help keep your business’s headcount low, helping your business run more efficiently.
Drastically reduce office waste
It’s expected that having many people in a building will produce a lot of waste. From food waste to lunch packaging and more, offices produce tonnes of waste each year – even with recycling processes in place. With your employees at home or working elsewhere, they will be responsible for their own waste. To help, you could advise employees on effective waste practices and even provide them with products that can help them become more energy-efficient at home.
Cut down on business travel
Travel is typically a big expense for businesses. During the pandemic, travel has been largely limited, which has forced businesses to think about meetings, events, and conferences differently. Through video calling and collaboration tools, the need for business travel reduces, allowing your business to save money, but more importantly, reduce the number of emissions it uses.
If you’re concerned that a video call can’t fully replace a face-to-face meeting, it might be time to switch things up. Take a look at some of the ways you can make video meetings better to make them a more effective substitute for physical meetings.
Less time in the office, less paper
Having fewer people in the office can mean your office uses less paper, which is a great way of making your business more sustainable. A paperless office is more achievable than ever, and as it’s unlikely your employees will want to fill their own homes with paper, you can make it happen.
To enable paperless working, you’ll need to ensure you have the right cloud storage in place, as well as making sure all of your systems are secure to prevent cybersecurity breaches. This can require some initial investment, but it’s a price worth paying to go paperless and make your data more secure.
Cut your employees’ carbon footprint
One of the things that people don’t miss about working from home is the commuting time. And the environment doesn’t miss the commute either! Having your employees work from home will mean there is less need for them to travel by car and be sat in traffic, which could mean you could get rid of some of your business fleet. If your focus switches to short-term and local travel, you could even invest in electric or hybrid cars for when employees need to get around.
Remote working presents several challenges, but it’s hard to deny the benefits. If you’re looking for ways to improve work/life balance, reduce running costs and do more for the environment, then remote working could be the solution your business needs. Think about how your business can be more sustainable as a result of home working and see the benefits it can bring.