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How a Remote Workforce Equals Greater Sustainability for Businesses



Businesses around the globe are under pressure to be more sustainable. For office-based businesses, the options in pursuit of greater eco-friendliness can seem limited. However, even companies with a minimal industrial imprint have the means to achieve sustainability. More times than not, it comes down to their workforce.

COVID-19 forced thousands of businesses to downsize, regroup, or close their doors. As the world shut down, carbon emissions plummeted as well. It didn’t take climate change experts to understand why; fewer trucks and cars on the roads – as well as reduced supply chain operations – led to lower emissions.

With this in mind, it’s easy to see how maintaining a remote workforce equals greater sustainability. Let’s dive a little deeper into how that plays out:

Zero commute

As previously mentioned, people who work from home aren’t commuting to and from the office. As a result, the carbon emissions generated by a company’s commuting workforce are reduced to zero. Given that the average passenger vehicle emits 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, eliminating the need for dozens or hundreds of employees to travel to and from the office each day has a dramatic effect on a company’s collective carbon footprint.

Reduced office supplies

Businesses typically buy printer paper, notepads, pens, pencils, and staples in bulk. They frequently do so at the same rate throughout the year, regardless of whether or not these supplies ever get used. It’s a great arrangement for office supply companies but a wasteful practice in terms of conservation. By having a remote workforce, businesses are off the hook when it comes to the constant purchase of office supplies, reducing their reliance on paper, plastic, and other materials that eventually end up in landfills.

Lowered energy usage

From heating and cooling to lights and computers, the typical office requires immense amounts of energy to stay in operation. By eliminating a central place of business and having workers do their jobs from remote locations, businesses require significantly less energy to operate.

Deciding remote workers are the future of your company is one thing. Making it happen is another. With this in mind, let’s take a look at what it takes to make the switch toward greater sustainability by switching to a remote work-only policy:

Cloud-based software

Employees scattered around the map need a centralized hub through which to communicate with coworkers, share project updates with supervisors, participate in meetings, and upload documents. Depending on the type of work being done, they may also need the means to reach out to customers and provide meaningful solutions. This calls for cloud-based software ranging from customer relationship management to word processors.

Global recruitment services

Switching to a remote workforce opens up the possibility of finding top talent around the world. But chances are the existing human resources apparatus isn’t up to snuff for global recruitment. That’s where a global recruitment service enters the picture. As the name suggests, global recruitment services help businesses find qualified candidates across the world. From there, it’s only a matter of onboarding, training, and equipping them with the tools and resources needed to get the job done.

Global payroll services

Despite what cryptocurrency enthusiasts say, there’s no such thing as a universal form of currency. If you have workers in multiple countries, you will need to pay them all in their respective locale currencies. The easiest way to do so is to use global payroll services. These services streamline the exchange process, handle accounting issues, and provide a barrier of fraud protection and security that is difficult and costly to do so independently.

From mom-and-pop dry cleaners to multinational conglomerates, pressure to be more sustainable is mounting on every business around the world. While not every organization has the ability to switch to remote workers, those that can should seriously consider making the transition as soon as possible. Doing so will lead to a dramatic reduction in their collective carbon emissions. As a result, they will be more sustainable. Multiply that enough times, and it’s a significant shift in the right direction.

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