How work from home may not be as good to planet as thought
London, May 4 (IANS) A mass move to working-from-home accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic might not be beneficial to Mother Earth as energy savings were offset by increased travel for recreation or other purposes, together with additional energy use in the home, says a new study.
The majority of studies on the subject analysed by the University of Sussex researchers in the UK agreed that working-from-home reduced commuter travel and energy use - by as much as 80 per cent in some cases.
But, according to the researchers, small number of studies found that telecommuting increased energy use or had a negligible impact, since the energy savings were offset by increased travel for recreation or other purposes.
"While most studies conclude that teleworking can contribute energy savings, the more rigorous studies and those with a broader scope present more ambiguous findings," said study researcher Andrew Hook, Professor at the University of Sussex.
"Where studies include additional impacts, such as non-work travel or office and home energy use, the potential energy savings appear more limited - with some studies suggesting that, in the context of growing distances between the workplace and home, part-week teleworking could lead to a net increase in energy consumption," Hook explained.