3 ways to make your remote working environment more eco-friendly

In light of World Environment Day 2021, more workers are wanting to make their remote working environments more eco-friendly. Are you trying to work greener this year? If so, then you have come to the right place. As remote working professionals we know how to adapt your home office in order to protect the environment. Here are our top 3 tips to make your remote workplace more eco-friendly:

1. Make the most of nature

Working remotely can often add to your energy expenditure as we spend more time at home. Although working from home uses up less energy than commuting and working from a conventional office, there are still more ways to make changes at home. Consider setting up your desk by a window in order to make the most of natural daylight. Not only will you reduce the amount of time your lights are on, but you will also boost your wellness letting in some fresh air. You could even consider sitting outside in good weather and working al fresco. That way you will be reducing your carbon footprint while also experiencing the joys of what the environment has to offer.

If you live in a cold climate where working outside or with the windows open isn’t an option, consider using indoor plants to make your workspace a little greener. Just one live plant in a room is scientifically proven to boost mood and productivity, so it can do wonders for your mental health and work too. If you’re lucky enough to live in a hot area, swimming pools and spas are incredibly popular. On your lunch break, consider taking a quick dip to exercise all of your muscles that have been sat all morning. This has the added bonus of refreshing you for the afternoon ahead.

a remote worker's desk set up by a window to make the most of nature

2. Go Digital

Going digital is a simple method to reduce paper waste. There is no need to squander old sheets of paper in order to share documents and brainstorm. Ditch the printer and opt for sharing documents and brainstorming online. Sharing Google and Microsoft documents has never been easier! You can even work on the same task at the same time as your colleagues and see them working away in real time. Furthermore, virtual brainstorm meetings on platforms, like Wurkr, reduce the consumption of paper cups for our daily cup of coffee.

According to the University of Southern Indiana and the American Forest and Paper Association, Americans consume 85 million tonnes of paper every year, which equates to 308 kg per person and 7 trees worth of paper. While that statistic is astounding, just 23% of paper goods are recycled.

Working from home can accomplish much more. Wurkr has collaborated with One Tree Planted to plant a tree for every new user that registers to our platform . Working together from anywhere using Wurkr reduces paper waste and benefits the environment.

Paper waste that could be avoided, e.g. sticky notes, thanks to digital note taking tools

3. Reduce your waste as much as possible

The amount of energy wasted in a typical home is staggering. However, you can reduce your energy usage by using LED light bulbs. LED bulbs out-perform incandescents and fluorescents in terms of efficiency, total cost, and environmental sustainability. Sure, they are more expensive upfront, but you will save a lot of money in the long run on both your energy bills and on the cost of replacing the bulbs. An LED light bulb lasts up to 25,000 hours in comparison to incandescent lights which only last 12,000 hours and fluorescents which last a mere 8000 hours, meaning you won’t have to replace them anywhere near as often.

It’s also easy to overlook the small amounts of trash that we accumulate in typical offices, like sticky notes, single-use coffee cups, and other items that are discarded without a second thought. Computers, laptops, printers, tablets, keyboards and mice all break, resulting in huge amounts of e-waste. Big corporations have to approach electronic waste recycling centers (for recycling computers and other electronic wastes) to keep their workspace green and sustainable.

Unfortunately, by working from home we can easily produce just as much waste. For example, getting a takeaway coffee from your local cafe every morning. Think of all that wasted single-use material.

Because your home may now also be your office, you are spending more time there and thus producing more domestic waste. Eliminate as much as possible by ensuring you:

  • Use reusable water bottles
  • Take keep cups with you on your daily coffee run
  • Keeping notebooks or using online note taking tools in order to reduce paper waste
  • Reduce your consumption of packaged snacks in favor of bulk items, fruit, and other minimally packed foods
  • Recycle everything you can in accordance with your local recycling centre
  • Compost organic waste

However, companies also have a responsibility to supply employees with items to help them reduce waste. For example Wurkr, provides employees with water bottles, mugs and keep cups to help them make their remote working environment more eco-friendly.

An example of a wurkr coffee morning using Wurkr mugs

Hopefully these tips will help you continue working towards a more sustainable future post World Environment Day 2021!

Have you got any more remote working environment tips? We would love to hear them so comment them down below.