A lot of businesses have had to live, at some scale, with remote working as a reality rather than an option. However, it has shown many businesses the benefits of going remote, not just for the productivity and work-life balance of the team, but also for the sustainability of the business. Here are four key ways in which a remote team could be a more sustainable one.

Cutting the commute
While some remote workers might be considered “digital nomads,” and are constantly on the move, this isn’t the case for most remote workers. In fact, most people working remotely will do so from their home, meaning they lose all the environmental impact of traveling back and forth from the office every single day. To see how much your business could help cut the carbon emissions of your team, there are commute emission tracking websites made to precisely that purpose. You can see just how much greener your business could be by cutting the commute alone.

Downsizing the office
There are a lot of ways that an employer can help make their office a greener place. However, the fact is that such a concentration of resources and people is likely to be a place where a lot of waste is generated. With remote working, you don’t have the waste of the office to deal with. You can still maintain the professional image your business needs with a virtual physical address, too, if you’re worried about how not having an office would impact your business. Similarly, without an office, you don’t need to purchase all the technology to equip your workers to do their job there, either. In a remote set-up, most employees will work with their own tech.

Passing on the paper
One of the resources you’re going to cut down most on when going remote is the amount of paper purchased and used. Going paperless is one of the biggest steps an office can take towards going sustainable. In the average office, it’s estimated that 70% of all the waste produced is mixed paper products. As recyclable as it is, not all of it will be able to be reused and when the average office goes through about 2 pounds worth of mixed paper a day, the remote paperless option can be a huge improvement.

Empowering remote employees
The one potential disadvantage of going remote in your business is that you don’t have the ability to influence the environment of your workers or to get them to work in a more sustainable workspace. At least, you don’t have that option directly. You can, however, incentivize them to make their own home office a little greener. For instance, you can introduce a scheme by where they can purchase some green home installations, like LED bulbs, at a discount through the company.

From cutting the carbon emissions of traveling to reducing paper use as best as possible, it’s clear that remote working could be the future of the sustainable office as we know it.