There is a quiet revolution in working practises, a change in the way desk-bound jobs are carried out. Businesses are keen to cut their expenses and their carbon footprint. Under increasing pressure from the government’s green pledge, companies will be obligated to reduce their emissions and the easiest way is to address work associated travel needs and building maintenance. These factors are responsible for most carbon emissions but,as you will read here, most energy waste is due to using a poorly insulated office with no natural light.
The Kyoto Protocol states that 45% all carbon emissions are from buildings. Most of that figure – a staggering 40.5% ALL carbon emissions – are produced to heat our homes and offices in winter, cool them down in summer, light them and run our multiple appliances within them.
There’s something here all businesses can do, something which will improve the working environment and reduce carbon emissions in one delicious purchase. IBM and British Telecom are on to this idea already. These Corporates have two of the most forward-thinking senior management boards in the UK. Not only do they permit flexible working, they actively promote their employees to work from home. It’s not a revolutionary idea, not even new, but home working is the sustainable lifestyle of the future.
Why are large national and international companies so invested in this concept? Three reasons: money, carbon and the feel-good factor.
With more employees working from home, companies save money on business rent and rates space, hot-desking and desk-sharing schemes and the secondary carbon associated with running and maintaining large offices. With fewer employees having to commute, less carbon emissions are produced from travel and, again, there is less expense incurred.
Employees appreciate the elevated trust and flexibility that modern technological communications support and respond with increased productivity and company loyalty. The boards were quick to respond to employees’ early gripes about taking up valuable living space at home by investing in sustainable garden offices – detached rooms which are assembled in the garden and moved when the homeowner sells.
This home-working concept can benefit every business, from the single self-employed woman who struggles to work from her dining room to the graphic design partnership which rents the space above the travel agents. Moving into a garden room gains her a professional working environment, and provides them with a rent-free tax-allowable business asset.
This formula extends to Directors and Senior Management Personnel throughout all industry sectors in the UK and Ireland. Having a sustainable, dedicated work space at home offsets the need to travel to and from work. Even if the facility is only used on 2 or 3 days a week, there is enough value in that commitment to constitute an investment in our future and a proud environmental policy for each company involved.