Office vs Home Working: How we can save our carbon footprint

Research from environmental experts at WSP has revealed how adapting our style of working through different seasons of the year can lower our carbon footprint.

When comparing the carbon output of 200 WSP employees from commuting and home/office heating, it was found that office working in winter and home working in summer can lead to an overall reduction in carbon emissions.

WSP’s calculations show that working from home rather than the office in summer saves around 400kg of carbon emissions, the equivalent of 5% of a typical British commuter’s annual carbon footprint. This is because homeworking staff cut out their carbon emissions from their commute which would otherwise be greater than their home’s energy consumption.

This is a seasonal benefit, however. If an average employee worked at home all year round, they would produce 2.5 tonnes of carbon per year – around 80% more than an office worker.  This is because working from home in the winter means most heating systems in Britain heat the whole house which produces far more carbon emissions than what would be produced from the commute. 

David Symons, UK Director of Sustainability at WSP, explains: “Much of the information around the benefits of working from home centre on flexible working and increased wellbeing of employees, which are very important, but it’s exciting to see that our data shows it can also be good for the environment.

Working from home in the summer and from the office in winter, is only a small step towards a zero-carbon economy, but an easy one for companies to consider!”


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