How has the shift to remote working impacted the environmental, social and governing aspects of the business world?

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it an unprecedented human and economic crisis, affecting all corners of the world. This has led to a change in the roles and expectations of businesses as they are having to adapt to changes within their business structure and operate remotely. As we slowly look forward to the re-opening of businesses and once again experience a standard office environment, the pandemic had provided businesses with the opportunity to be flexible in their delivery of products and services and identify new ways of raising awareness, with social media being the ‘frontrunner of options’ adopted by businesses. With the economy slowly capitalising on any fallouts that occurred during the pandemic, what sort of impact has remote working had on the environmental, social and governing aspects of the business world? Well, lucky for you, you’ve come to the right place to find out. Let’s have a virtual coffee and talk about sustainability.

Due to Covid, businesses are having to rethink their strategies and identify alternative ways of raising awareness and delivering their products and services. In the second half of 2020, corporate responsibility and ESG have shifted for the longer term. For businesses, preparing for the future means addressing climate change and remote working can be at the heart of carbon reduction. Working in an office-based environment may provide employees with the motivation to get work done however, there really is no place like home. People may be more satisfied with their jobs working remotely as it would allow greater work-life balance and removes the stress involved with commuting. Employees are being encouraged to adopt certain practices to ensure they meet sustainability needs and those include:

 

  • Encouraging staff to reduce their screen-time by setting reminders
  • Holding virtual meetings rather than asking staff to travel abroad for business meetings
  • Encouraging more sustainable food consumption by setting goals and hosting a variety of activities
  • Encouraging staff to send fewer emails and sticking to a single email trait
  • Pre-programming organisation-issued devices to enter ‘’standby’’ after a specified time

 

There has been a lot of emphasis on the use of digital platforms including the likes of Zoom and Microsoft teams. According to statistics, Microsoft teams experienced a 894% growth during the pandemic whereas Zoom was downloaded 485 million times in 2020. Now, with businesses slowly reopening, employees and employers hope to balance their work structure to suit their environmental needs. 

 

Legislations have played a significant role in encouraging sustainability in the workplace. This is to ensure that large companies report on their carbon emissions and encourage them to reduce their emissions and the impact this would have on the environment. Failure in doing so could result in an unexpected visit and a ‘telling off’ from environmental activist, Greta Thunberg. Wouldn’t want that happening, would we? In regards to working remotely, it is known that this would help find solutions to a few problems such as zero commute, therefore, less reliance on petrol and fewer seats to heat and cool in offices, however, it is also known that remote working might be less sustainable. In countries like Norway for example, around 40% of vehicles sold were electric therefore, this would have less of an impact on the environment compared with other parts of the world that are still reliant on petrol. In terms of geothermal energy, countries like Iceland use a significant amount of clean, geothermal energy to power homes. Comparing this with the likes of the UK and the US, it may not be efficient to work from home in the winter or summer, seeing that both the UK and the US derive less sustainable energy.

Regardless of whether businesses are operating remotely or not, this would always impact the environmental, social and governing aspects in the business world. Now that there is a lot of emphasis on the use of digital platforms, employees and employers will follow new roles, guidelines and regulations in order to promote sustainability. Want to know more about sustainability and other industry-related developments? Well, you’re in luck. Here at Shoo Social Media, we know our stuff! Get in touch right now and you won’t be left disappointed. I assure you.