Jackie Thompson


Roughly 33% of the American workforce is presently working remotely, according to Gallup. So if you’ve got a business, it’s important to take note of how to manage remote workers efficiently, and how telecommuting has impacted your business as a whole. One of the ways that is commonly overlooked is how the move to remote working has affected your business’s waste management. So what impact has it had so far?

Reduced Carbon Footprint And A Better Reputation

In an office space with around 90 employees, your average carbon footprint would come to 234 tons of carbon dioxide per year, according to Carbon Footprint’s business calculator. Those carbon emissions are brought about by the use of lighting, HVACs, equipment, and many other things. With telecommuting being the norm, the production of carbon emissions in your offices should have decreased drastically. Should you continue to embrace remote working in your office policy because of the reduced carbon footprint, you can expect a better reputation for your brand: consumers factor in environmental concerns in their purchasing decisions. Large names that have permanently embraced remote working like Infosys, Nationwide Insurance, and Shopify are all enjoying a positive boost to their reputations from their workers and the public.

Fewer Waste Management Responsibilities 

With remote work being the norm now, there has been a 67% decrease in waste production for businesses, according to The Environmental Research & Education Foundation. This is a trend that will continue to affect businesses. For starters, businesses can look into the differences in roles of contractors and employees, as the former ensures that those you hire have to manage their own waste, and the latter keeps you involved in the waste management process. If there is no one present to generate office waste in your business, there will be nothing to concern yourself with. However, businesses can take this chance to forward any smart waste management tips to their employees or contractors to help them with any work-related waste produced in their homes.

Changed Waste Management Plans

The recent months and the advent of normalized telecommuting have also affected how businesses are considering their existing waste management plans. As there are significantly fewer workers physically present in offices, there is a need to also scale back any pre-existing agreements with waste management services. For example, if your business has a three-times-a-week agreement for picking up recyclables, such frequency is no longer necessary. Instead, there is an opportunity to re-examine what improvements can be made regarding waste management. A projection of fee costs and equipment necessary to handle waste can help determine where changes can be maximized.

Business is all about adapting to trends and demands. So in the case of waste management, seeing how recent events have changed things and how they will continue to do so will determine how your business will evolve. With remote work a steady fixture in the foreseeable future, there will be more opportunities to study how it will continue to affect your business’s waste management.

Photo by Alizée Baudez on Unsplash.