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Working Smarter to Help the Environment

Here at VBN we’re all about working smarter to make life easier, whether it’s entrepreneurs running startups and SMEs or the employees themselves. Now it turns out that our approach isn’t just beneficial for people’s work-life balance. These improvements in health and wellness also help the environment!  How? By prioritizing a balanced life and reducing inefficiencies in the workplace, businesses can institute policies like work-at-home or remote-work options that allow people to be with their families and save them from the hassle of commuting, which has the benefit of reducing carbon emissions. Implementing four day work weeks would also greatly lessen power consumption, helping the environment and also reducing the electricity bill! 

Science Says

Scientific American confirms the 4-day workweek’s environmental and economic benefits. When employees have three day weekends, without necessarily decreasing the amount of hours worked per week, businesses save money, help the environment and also improve the health and wellness of their people.  They draw from examples that include law firms and government offices, which made savings without any loss of productivity. They no longer needed to power lights, elevators or computers during Fridays, and janitors also didn’t have to clean vacant offices. The savings were most significant in summer because of lessened air conditioning use.  In terms of environmental impact, the changes were also significant. Employees were on the road 20% less, so office power consumption and road traffic decreased significantly. This means carbon emissions are lessened. And people spend less time commuting, Hallelujah! 

In Practice

Here are a few examples of such policies being implemented and achieving those awesome benefits we mentioned: 
  • New Zealand firm Perpetual Guardian trialed a 4-day work week and their staff were happier and 20% more productive. Staff stress decreased from 45% to 38%, and work-life balance scores increased from 54% to 78%. 
  • Pursuit Marketing in the UK reported a 29.5% increase in productivity since switching to a four-day work week and they’ve been at it for a couple of years now. Employees reported having more energy during work because they have more time to be with their families. 
  • The Institute for Labour Economics’s 2014 study shows that productivity diminishes after the 35th hour of weekly work. The longer people worked, the less efficient they get. On the other hand, people are more relaxed and more productive with shorter hours. 

Newer, Better and Smarter Ways to Work to Help the Environment

Want to know how your workplace processes are making an impact? See how it affects how you do your job… and how you live. Ultimately this will depend on the strategy, objectives and priorities of the employers, but now more than ever, organizations have an unprecedented opportunity to change it up. They have the tools, the systems, the world is ever more interconnected. We’re all connected, the Cloud makes everything accessible. Your offshore team, Virtual Assistants and remote working employees can collaborate just as effectively as in-house teams no matter where they are on Earth.  So in the proper hands, it stands to reason that these systems and processes can help the environment and people as well. Beyond the bottomline, we can prioritize more meaningful benefits.  As Perpetual Guardian CEO Andrew Barnes said: “We want people to be the best they can be while they’re in the office, but also at home. It’s the natural solution.”

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