Telecommuting prevails as a rising employment trend. Working from home allows workers to more easily reconcile work and family life.
According to a report on the matter, in the United States alone there has been an increase of 159% in relation to telework offers between 2005 and 2017.
As technology has allowed its development, labor flexibility —that is, working without being tied to a specific schedule or physical space— has become one of the benefits most demanded by workers and most offered by companies
The possibility of working from anywhere in the world makes the balance between work. And personal life much easier to establish.
But, likewise, remote work can also have a positive impact on a larger scale. Helping to reverse some problems in today’s society.
From mitigating the spread of the coronavirus to reducing CO2 emissions. Here are 4 social benefits of working from home.
Best benefits of remote work
Although teleworking is an upward trend, the coronavirus outbreak is causing many companies to be implementing this model more rapidly.
To protect employees from the coronavirus, companies around the world have started asking their staff to work from home as a precaution. Facebook, Google or Twitter are some of the examples of this.
In our country, the coronavirus led Vodafone to carry out a teleworking drill with its more than 2,000 employees in Madrid to ensure that the company is prepared to operate “with complete normality” in a possible scenario of mobility restriction.
But teleworking isn’t just the answer when it comes to dealing with a pandemic. Being able to work from home when faced with any type of symptom. For example, a small cold, reducing infections and with it the number of sick leave.
Teleworking can favor living in areas where housing is cheaper
Cities have become centers of employment. But as the majority of society moves to these urban centers in search of job opportunities, house prices skyrocket there.
As a result, more and more workers are forced to move away from the center. And look for alternatives in nearby cities where living standards are more affordable.
An example of this is Madrid. Although the capital does not stop receiving population flow, gentrification, in turn, does not stop expelling its residents. As a detailed article in El Confidencial reports in this regard, “the largest interprovincial flow that Spain has experienced in the last three decades has been from Madrid to Toledo, with 320,000 accumulated displacements.”
In this sense, teleworking can favor, and even change, the preferences around the housing of the population.
As they are not forced to live near an office to which they go daily. It is expected that more people seek to reside in cheaper areas. Or with other types of incentives, such as more residential areas, close to green spaces …
This is reflected, for example, in a recent survey carried out in Ireland. According to which up to 44% of office workers in this country consider that remote work would facilitate them to alleviate the financial burden associated with housing.
According to their results, 19% of respondents would move to a more affordable location if they could work from home.
Remote work can provide more job opportunities in disadvantaged areas
The UN estimates predict that by 2050 68% of the world population will live in urban areas.
And as the number of inhabitants in cities skyrockets, rural areas will continue to suffer the consequences of depopulation, linked to the lack of job opportunities that occur in them.
In the case of the US, the labor market in rural areas is 4.26% smaller now than in 2008. According to the World Economic Forum. A demographic and economic decline that is also reflected in our country, in what is known as emptied Spain.
In this scenario, teleworking can be established as an effective tool to promote employment opportunities in less favored areas such as rural areas.
An example of the possibilities that this allows are alternatives such as Flexjob in the United States. Focused on promoting telework in more disadvantaged areas.
Similarly globally, the SheWorks! It makes it easier for women to come into contact with companies around the world, being able to work for them remotely and flexibly.
Avoiding displacement would have a positive impact on the environment
Beyond the time and money savings of working from home, avoiding commuting to the office can reduce carbon emissions.
According to Global Workforce Analytics estimates, in the US, remote workers could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54 million tons per year, only by telecommuting half the workweek.
And it’s not just about commuting.
A report from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA ) in the US indicates that the use of electronic devices for teleworking could save 9,000 to 14,000 million kilowatt-hours of energy each year.
In our country, according to a study prepared by the Másfamilia Foundation. Working from home 2 days a week —with an estimate of 40% of the population likely to telework— would mean a reduction of 332,843 tons CO2 / year in Barcelona alone.
For the State as a whole, this impact was estimated between 9 and 10 times higher. Reaching a reduction of approximately 3 mm ton CO2 / year, practically the emissions of the entire metal industry in our country, according to the report.
Although the positive impact that teleworking can have on the environment could be a seasonal benefit.
According to the findings of a recent investigation by the British consultancy firm WSP. While working from home in the summer can save up to 400 kilos of carbon emissions. It is not so ecological to do it in winter.
This is because, according to their estimates, working from home in the cold season means a greater number of heating systems heating homes. Which produces much more carbon emissions than those related to the journey of employees to their office.
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