While not having to commute is equivalent pay raise, it’s not necessarily better for the environment.
During COVID-19 lockdown last year, carbon dioxide emissions from transportation dropped 15%, but we should not expect that to continue as the economic recovery continues.
In addition, moves out of city centers come with larger carbon footprints—homes in the suburbs consume three times more energy and typically have less access to clean energy sources.
Finally, remote teams that get together every quarter will take more flights which is many times worse than car travel. “A round-trip flight from Chicago to Los Angeles releases nearly as much CO2 as three months of a 10-mile driving commute.”
Read Is remote working better for the environment? Not necessarily in The Guardian.
- A study found that working fully from home can reduce your carbon footprint 58%
- 20% of US workers are expected to work from home permanently, will that have a measurable impact on climate change?
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We can come up with a valuation of remote work by looking at a few signals: what you would forgo, what do you gain, what others gain, and what others lose.
A new study on the climate impact of teleworking found that switching from working onsite to working from home full time can reduce up to 58% of work’s carbon footprint. Hybrid schedules have some improvement (11% to 29%). Working one day from home has no benefit.