For decades, there has been a push to ‘go green’ and create a healthier future by changing the way people commute to work, such as fewer cars and more carpooling, cycling and the use of public transport.
Despite best attempts, old habits are hard to break and there has been no seismic shift in our car-centric culture — until now.
The pandemic has forced many people to work from home, which not only dramatically reduced the amount of vehicles on the road, it also reduced pollution and improved air quality.
In April 2020, at the peak of lockdown and stay-at-home orders, daily carbon dioxide emissions dropped by 17% globally, according to the journal Nature Climate Change. However, while vehicle usage dropped during lockdown, it is now beginning to climb again as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
Is there a case to continue remote work for environmental sustainability?
Reducing our reliance on office space not only cuts commuting, it also means that businesses can save on heating, cooling and other energy costs, while employees can save time and enjoy better work life balance.
Perhaps now is the time to embrace a healthier future of work by changing our car-centric culture and working more flexibly, which is healthier for everyone — including our planet.