Remote work may cut employee greenhouse emissions by half
The COVID pandemic caused a sea change in the amount and frequency of remote work — a shift that could reduce greenhouse gases, according to a study published in the journal PNAS.
The analysis of data on energy consumption and travel behavior suggests fully remote workers produce less than half the emissions of office workers.
Partially remote workers are more of a mixed bag: Not commuting one day per week results in a negligible 2% emissions drop, due to offsets from other types of travel. On the other hand, working remotely for two to four days lowers emissions by nearly one-third.
Increased use of communications technology had a negligible effect. Even so, the authors emphasize the importance of vehicle choice, commuting behavior and energy efficiency.