With many countries still fully or partially under lock down, home working is no longer a mere option. For millions around the globe it became the only door to maintaining a source of income. With factories closing down & others going bankrupt, people are losing their jobs faster than anyone can count.
But every crisis creates opportunities. Online teaching, marketing, selling, … are no longer exotic. What years of good intentions could not achieve – have people work from home -, corona did. Like the night turns into the day, that’s how fast and seemingly easy the transition was.
All lights on green for this change to last when the corona crisis is over. Time to think how we can work sustainably from home.
Good Eating Habits
When you work from home, you can sleep longer, have a proper, healthy breakfast before you start your day. In the long run, good eating habits matter. According to a German saying, one should eat like an emperor in the morning, like a king for lunch and like a beggar for dinner. What it means is that the right breakfast makes your day and sets a basis for the rest of it. How many commuters live up to this?
At work one get’s stuck into an office. I remember my days at the World Bank where my working place did not have an outside window. I felt sleepy throughout the day. It certainly did not contribute to my productivity. Now that most of us work from a PC, we can sit where we feel most at ease. We can follow natural light, sit in our office, on the terrace, in the kitchen, wherever natural light is at its best. Taking full advantage of day light comes with a financial and a natural environmental bonus: you’ll consume less energy.
Clean & Fresh Air
Many office windows cannot be opened, but in your own home you can decide to leave the airco off, reduce the heat and let fresh air come in.
Take time off during the day to go for a walk, nearby grocery shopping, a nice cup of tea or coffee.
But what about the reduction of stress? Working from home literally implies no traffic jams, no missed commuter trains nor watching the subway leave the station the moment you reach the platform. The hours you normally spend to & back from work are now at your disposal. To meet up with friends, do some sports…
Natural Environmental Benefits
Working from home has reduced carbon emissions—that much is clear.
Prior to corona virus lock down, transport was the leading source of emissions in most part of the Western world. Telecommuting eliminates the air pollution from our actual commute. It also diminishes demand for vehicles & air travel. With Uber and Cabify ever so more popular since the 2008 economic crisis, the shared economy is likely to enter into a second boom.
No more paper and plastic waste for on-the-go. And in case you order delivery for lunch or dinner, make a sustainable choice. You can prepare yourself some healthy meals in advance and keep them in your fridge. They’ll easily last till the end of the week.
Unplug devices when you are finished with work. Lower the heat in the Winter and the airco during Summer. Or find yourself a naturally cool spot in your home. Decrease the brightness on your computer monitor. 4 golden rules that will make you fall in love with your electricity bill.
Eco-friendly office supplies
First thing we are going to get is a portable bamboo laptop desk table. This will facilitate freely moving around in and around the house.
Made from dismantled printer cartridges that would otherwise end up in landfill, the “Eezigo Laptop stand” is the epitome of recycling and up cycling in office land.
“Eezigo” is a product made by a south African non-profit organization, GreenAble, offering workplace training and skills development for disabled people, primarily single mothers, who were once unemployed. These programs increase their self-esteem and enable them to support their dependents.
They receive training and skills development to allow them to move on after 2 years in the program.
What most of us don’t realize, is that empty printer cartridges require special disposal and should NOT be thrown away with our everyday garbage. Cartridges contain plastic, metals and if not correctly disposed of cause environmental harm.
Whilst recycling the cartridges, GREENABLE monthly diverts approximately 10 to 12 tonnes of plastic and 8 to 10 tonnes of metals, which are used for re manufacturing purposes.
The plastic is processed so that it can be molded again into the ‘eezigo Designed for mobility’ Laptop Stand.
Consider bamboo office products
From a pencil holder, laptop table, desk organizer, pencils … made of bamboo, the choice is BIG !
Buy printing paper, toilet paper, napkins … made from more recycled content. As a gift our clients receive a plantable and bio-degradable pencil.
When work requires little concentration, put on some relaxing music.
Remember, working from home is not entirely free from challenges. It is essential to build in a sustainable routine.
Take regular breaks and go slow on snacks. I always have a bunch of organic lemons in my kitchen to drink them with hot water. Get into the habit of making smoothies to pimp up your energy.
And yes, working from home requires some planning. Outline your work at the start of the day. Let people know you work from home. Communicate clearly when they can come & see you unless you want to be interrupted constantly.
Have a nice day of work @home!