COULD WORKING FROM HOME MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE?

The trend toward telecommuting has been going on for quite some time. Now the trickle of at-home workers has recently become a flood and the telecommuting revolution is well underway. 

Many business experts predict that working from home is now the new normal. Overall, working from home has many environmental and psychological benefits. So, it’s already hard to envision a return to the old way of life.

The Environmental and Psychological Benefits of Telecommuting

The recent pandemic and advances in technology are transforming the workforce in a surprisingly short period of time. Seemingly overnight, millions of office workers were sent home. Some of them with barely enough time to turn off their computers or pack up their personal belongings.

The telecommuting revolution is in full swing.  This new revolution in working makes some experts wonder what comes next? Environmentalists, in particular, look at the current trend of telecommuting and at-home work as a golden opportunity. They believe we could be entering a new age of green cities, low carbon emissions, and a more communal way of life.

Here are just a few of the ways telecommuting could help make the world a better, and more sustainable, place to live.

WILL LESS DRIVING REDUCE CARBON EMISSIONS?

The biggest benefit of telecommuting is also the most obvious. With fewer cars on the road every day, carbon emissions will be greatly reduced. Overall, the reduced driving could help to reverse some of the environmental damage that has already been done.

The results are clear to see. The before and after pictures of the sky over Los Angeles speak for themselves. These photos echo the changes taking place in hundreds of urban centers all across the world.

After a reduction in the number of miles driven households will rethink their need for a second, or a third, vehicle. With one or both spouses working from home, that extra car in the driveway is likely to be viewed as an unnecessary burden rather than an absolute necessity.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF WORKING FROM HOME?

When the home and workplace become one, employees are free to live anywhere they like. This new living freedom may cause a boom for rural areas, city centers, and everything in between. Freed from the daily commute, workers will enjoy newfound psychological freedom. Now, they’ll be basing their housing choices on improved quality of life. All too often the decision to live in one place instead of another was based on commute time to work. Now people can make housing decisions based on their quality of life and where they feel they will be happiest. Few workers look forward to a long commute. So, this new ability to choose where they live will avoid that daily stress.

HOW DOES WORKING FROM HOME AFFECT CITIES?

Instead of being conduits for cars and centers of global commerce, cities will be cleaner, greener, and less congested. If telecommuting becomes universal cities can turn entire downtowns into green spaces. These spaces could include shady spots for sitting and wide pathways for walking, running, and biking.

This may seem like a far-off utopia. However, the transformation is happening in small ways around the world. From Paris and London to New York, city officials are electing to transform city centers to be more people-friendly. This movement was gaining popularity even before the current work at home revolution.

Working Can Become a More Communal Experience

One big downside of working at home is social isolation, something people are all too familiar with in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Loneliness and feelings of isolation can turn telecommuting from a dream come true into a daily nightmare, but there are solutions on the horizon.

Once cities have been transformed from urban traffic movers to green spaces, telecommuters can take their laptops, and their projects, into the great outdoors. From working at the local coffee shop to hanging out with their fellow workers in a downtown park, telecommuters can fight the isolation, boost their serotonin levels and even enhance their productivity.

Businesses Saving Money Could Translate Into Higher Worker Pay

OK, this one may be a long shot. However, competitive pressures and economic conditions could still increase wages. The business benefits of telecommuting have long been established. Some examples include less money spent on office space and lower costs for everything from electricity to trash collection.

In the future telecommuting may be the norm instead of the exception. Thus, these monetary savings could theoretically reach the men and women who find a way to work from home. Companies could spread the wealth in a number of ways. For example, they could give raises to help pay for internet access. They could also give free computer equipment and mobile devices to increase the technology resources of workers.

IS WORKING FROM HOME THE SOLUTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE?

Only time will tell if the current wave of telecommuting will be permanent.  It is still too early to tell if shifts in the way people work will usher in a new age of utopia. Certainly, environmentalists and others who care about the earth see great potential. While not all of these positive things may come to pass, there is reason for hope. In the end, the collective action of everyone will determine the future. Very individual worker and employer can do their part.

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