Is Remote Work Better for the Environment?



You may remember at the start of the pandemic when the world was at a standstill. The natural world seem to be making something of a comeback. There were stories of dolphins swimming in the canals in venice goats. Taking over towns and wales nature was healing. All of this reflected this notion that life under lockdown is good for the environment. People weren't driving to work. Companies weren't using energy to heat and power big office buildings working from home might actually save the planet. The reality though is a bit more complicated here. Talk about is professor. Liam o'brien from carleton university. Halen hi thanks for having me. So if i were to say to you. Working from home is better for the environment than a working from an office. Would you agree. I would say it's actually very complicated. A lot of the tangible things like like not having to buy gas for occurs to commute. Those are really obvious to us. But we don't think a lot of the secondary effects like the fact that now are heating and cooling our homes more. We're using office equipment at home. We're using more internet most likely and in some cases where even moving further out from our work which is going to have potentially permanent consequences. Okay so let's take the example of working from home versus going to the office so we assume as occupants. I think that if we're not in our office building than than the building isn't being heated. It's not being cooled. It's not being lit or ventilated. But that tends not to be true. A lot of these systems and big buildings are scheduled so whether there's one person in there or thousands they're still going to be operating.

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