Flexible work spaces can play a significant role in helping to decrease carbon emissions: Study

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Suburban flexible workspaces can play a significant role in helping to decrease fossil fuel consumption. 

There’s a new and unlikely weapon in the fight against climate change – flexible working. As co-working spaces are increasingly located outside of major city centres and business districts, lengthy and environmentally damaging commutes are becoming a thing of the past. The Regus study analyzed the environmental benefits for local economies by the growth of flexible workspaces in secondary towns and cities and in suburban locations of major cities in 19 countries

For India, the carbon saving will see a reduction of 181,000 metric tonnes of carbon emissions per year. In polluted cities, like Delhi where pollution routinely reaches hazardous levels, we will witness a significant impact on air quality. The Suburban Economic Study, commissioned by Regus and conducted by independent economists, projected the environmental benefits of locating flexible workspaces in smaller towns, cities and suburban areas between now and 2029.

In fact, as the growth of flexi-working explodes in areas outside of major cities, new research reveals that, by 2029, ‘outer city’ office spaces will reduce carbon emissions by the equivalent of 1,280,000 transatlantic flights between London and New York each year. That’s 2,560,000 metric tonnes of carbon stopped from entering the atmosphere annually, just by working nearer to home.

Mark Dixon, CEO for Regus’ parent company IWG, said “Commuting can be uncomfortable, unfriendly, and incredibly time-consuming. It is also a huge source of global pollution. In an age where every business and an individual have a responsibility for their environmental impact in the world, commuting into major cities is keeping them away from fulfilling their responsibility.”

Suburban flexible workspaces can play a significant role in helping to decrease fossil fuel consumption, carbon emissions and other pollutants in order to reduce carbon footprint. Enduring long commute hours is environmentally damaging and is becoming a thing of the past.

“Over the next decade, we expect to open many more locations in smaller towns, cities and suburban areas. Our vision is that soon there will be a professional workspace available on every corner; ending the idea of commuting for good. This will benefit our personal health, as well as that of our planet.”

The difference one co-working office makes

* By allowing people to work closer to home, a local office space will save workers an average of 9,532 hours per year in reduced commuting times, equating to a reduction of 54 metric tonnes of carbon emissions per centre, per year.

* The report also revealed that those moving from flexible working at home to a co-working space will be doing their bit for the environment.

* That’s because it’s likely to be more energy efficient to ventilate and light a shared space than a home for one, solitary worker.

Harsh Lambah, Country Manager – India, IWG said, “Urban commuting is one of the most energy- and pollution-intensive activities in India increasing carbon emissions exponentially. Growth of opportunities in suburban cities and options for people to work closer to home can have a tremendous effect, not just on them, but on the environment too. The study reiterates the potential of flexible workspaces in the coming years by highlighting economic and environmental impact for businesses as well as people working out of flexible workspaces.”