Why Remote Working Is A Major Asset In A Climate Crisis

For companies that use IT systems in their day-to-day operations, the potential for staff to do their work remotely has long been established. The fact that this has become such a massive change in work styles was driven by a crisis, namely the Covid-19 pandemic, but another dangerous situation could provide a great reason to persist with it.

It is not just that the expectation among some companies that there would be a large-scale ‘return to the office’ has not materialised except when staff have been forced to come back, with the availability of remote or hybrid working now being seen as a key plus point of a job by many candidates.

While that in itself may be a good reason to seek more remote IT services to ensure your staff can do this, there could be another great reason to promote remote working.

The early days of February brought two contrasting weather stories across the UK. On the one hand, there was much snowfall in some parts, the kind of thing that in previous years might have left some people unable to make it to work that day. Clearly in such cases, remote working can be a very useful thing.

On the other, there was the revelation from the European Union’s climate change monitoring service that 2023 was the warmest year on record, breaching the 1.5 per cent Paris Accord temperature goal (in comparison with the average pre-industrial temperature).

This tells us not only that climate change is real (though of course there are still some doubters out there), but that it is going to have a major impact on various aspects of life, including practical implications for businesses.

While it may not yet be the case that winters are too mild to bring a bit of snow now and again – though less than in past years – the most notable feature of the winter has been the high frequency and severity of storms, with the Met Office recording ten such named events since the autumn equinox last September.

While the frequency of storms is not necessarily a result of climate change, the amount of rain is. Floods can be a massive problem for businesses, meaning premises can be inundated or cut off. As a means of business continuity, remote working is vital and may be even more so if the future brings more storms of this kind.

Business continuity is not the only consideration. The other is the simple reality of commuting. While those travelling within Greater London or into the capital from outside may be able to use the extensive public transport resources of the metropolis, those living and working in places like Essex may not.

For instance, if a business is based in central Colchester, staff living in a nearby village like Kelvedon or Marks Tey can get a train to work, but not someone living in somewhere like Ardleigh or Langham. Until everyone has electric cars – and Essex lags behind much of Britain for EV charges – that means more emissions if people have to drive in.

Therefore, by doing more to ensure your firm’s staff can access IT systems and work remotely, you are not only offering desirable work flexibility or disaster resilience; you can also help play your part in fighting climate change by reducing emissions.

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