Benefiting the Environment - Remote Working/Learning
There is a great deal of discussion right now about how scientists have measured significant reductions in emissions while the world has faced the greatest pandemic and health crisis in a century. Most of us know why emissions are reduced (learning and working remotely) but the better question to be answered is what we can do to incentivize employers and individuals to continue these current low-emission habits. Our global environment has benefitted from the ability of individuals to work and learn remotely, and we should not be too quick to revert to the previous format.
So, how do we encourage businesses and schools, to the extent possible, to continue to allow individuals to work and learn from home or have limited in-person requirements?
In general, many of us have adjusted well to the work from home environment. There are exceptions of course, such as many people in service industries; retail stores or positions that specifically require in-person interactions (e.g., technicians, etc.). For most companies that have allowed employees to work from home and before a dramatic change back to office settings, they should evaluate a variety of factors and decide based on the tangible impacts to the business.
There are pros and cons associated with a remote workforce or with remote learning. Many people today speak about the lack of social interactions for young students. In order to appropriately evaluate the good and bad associated with changing the models to a more remote environment, we must evaluate all of the variables, quantify them, and mathematically evaluate what makes the most sense to a business and to the ability for students to excel.
Obviously certain variables do not have a quantifiable numerical input but some weight to the item must be assigned. For example, think about the young students in elementary schools who are no longer benefitting from the social interactions they receive in the school setting. Although we could not add an exact value to this, we must be able to use it as an additional qualifier. The cost of office leases, housekeeping services, electric and water bills are quantifiable savings that can be expected by a company. We should however not forget the important social dynamics that help companies innovate and strategize.
Often in-person meetings are the impetus for many of the greatest inventions. An entire workforce should not and cannot be treated as a whole, but instead evaluated based on the type of work they perform, the interactions they need and impact on the business. A prime example of this is the JetBlue model. JetBlue customer service is remote. Customer service representatives work from their homes. Obviously, flight attendants and pilots cannot perform their duties from home, but what this shows us is that there is not a one-size fits all approach to managing employees.
This unfortunate pandemic has dramatically changed the way we work and learn. We must not discount the important advantages to our environment by having fewer vehicles (including school buses) on the roads. The commutes for workers and students are driving a cleaner environment. If we stop to think about the advantages of cleaner air and the possibility of reducing expenses for businesses, we may be able to develop a new model for our daily activity. I encourage every business owner to think about the wide-ranging advantages to the remote workforce while balancing them against the disadvantages.
Is your business interested in conducting this type of analysis but unsure how or where to start? Let us help you. Our team of advisors will fully review your business model and provide you with a detailed analysis of how you may be able to take advantage of a new dynamic business model. We offer an initial free consultation to our new clients and hope you will reach out to us to see how we may be able to help you.