Remote possibilities: Environmental benefits of teleworking

  • Modelling of telework in an Australian corporate context shows reduced climate impacts.
  • Teleworking will drive sustainability benefits under particular corporate and remote settings.
  • Policy recommendations and practical interventions for employers include implementing office consolidation in conjunction with teleworking.

remote working

The jury is still out on the environmental benefits of teleworking but there is mounting evidence that professional organisations can no longer ignore, indicating that there are more than financial benefits from this type of working. A review of the literature, and a comparative lifecycle assessment, was undertaken to determine the environmental impact of teleworking compared to office-based work in a corporate setting. For example, teleworking was demonstrated to have lesser environmental effects than office-based working, but only under certain conditions. By the numbers, teleworking was more beneficial if an employee travels ≥30 km each workday, and the more the energy efficient the employer’s buildings are, the lower the environmental value of teleworking. One of the major criticisms of the sustainability benefits of teleworking is the rebound effect. This study shows that its contribution is insignificant under common conditions that were modelled. The objective of this article is to highlight how current developments in remote working translate into practical corporate policy, and what they mean to governance professionals1

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