Working from Home Sustainably

So many of us are now working from home, which can be a difficult transition when you are used to commuting to work. University employees should work under the updated guidelines while working remotely under COVID-19 restrictions. In getting set up, there are many factors to consider such as setting a work schedule and designating a work area. Here are a few tips to help you get started while keeping sustainability in mind.

First of all, working from home is sustainable by nature as you are not using transportation to get into work and not consuming energy from your regular workplace building. Allowing employees to work at home helps companies fulfill their corporate social responsibility (CSR) standards, while communities also benefit from enhanced air quality and traffic reduction.

While at home, take advantage of the sunlight. Natural lighting is a great alternative to using artificial lighting. Not only can sunlight help you save energy, it can also boost your mood and provide essential vitamins.

Unplug electronics when not in use. The term “energy vampires” refers to appliances and electronics that use energy 24/7, even when not in use. To help save your wallet and unnecessary energy waste, be sure to switch off power strips and unplug electronics when not in use.

Don’t rely on the heater. Our body temperature tends to drop a bit when we are not active. So instead of cranking up the heat while you work from a desk or unwind on the couch, try these alternatives:

  • Drink a hot cup of tea
  • Layer your clothes
  • Cuddle under a blanket
  • Take an exercise break to get your blood flowing

And even when you’re not working, try to reduce electronic use. Being a couch potato and watching hours of TV doesn’t seem like a bad idea, but neither does reading that book you’ve always wanted to indulge in. Whether it’s having a board game night with the family or attempting a fun DIY project during a work break, small actions to reduce energy use can make a huge impact overall. For some creative ideas, refer to our other Sustainable Tip of the Week articles.


Written by Emily Su, Class of 2022.

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