More and more businesses are becoming conscious about reducing their carbon footprint. There is a rising trend amongst businesses to “Go Green and Go Virtual.” Not only does this sit well with ethically based climate-changing policies that many businesses are adopting, but many enterprises can also save on fixed and other business associated costs in the process.
Let’s discuss how. The term Virtual Office in general terms means that you do not have a physical office. Instead, you rent an address from a Virtual Office Provider. This leaves you free to work from anywhere you want, anywhere in the world. With plenty of Virtual Office providers on the market, this means that there is no shortage of addresses to choose from as the “face of your business.”
Go Virtual To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
No Physical Office Means Less Energy & Fuel Consumption
Fundamentally from a Green perspective, with no physical office; this means that there is a reduced requirement for utilities to power your business. There is no consumption of electricity, gas, or water. It also means that there is no commute to the office which can lead to a reduction in the carbon footprint of transport providers.
Fewer people commuting to work means fewer buses on the road, fewer cars, fewer taxis, and fewer trains pulling in and out of stations creating air pollution.
Also to point out the obvious if you’re not consuming the above, it means that your business is also saving a substantial amount of cash in the process as well as helping to reduce your carbon footprint. But apart from the obvious green credentials of giving up your physical office, there are a number of other indirect benefits to the environment that are not so obvious to see but all make a difference.
No Need For Office Furniture
This can only be a good thing as it means fewer trees being cut down and less plastic and metal. There are lots of chemicals involved in the production of furniture too, so less harmful toxic gasses are being released into the atmosphere and workplace.
Less Plastic Waste
Just as one simple example, walk into any office and there is a very high probability that you will either see a water dispenser fixed to the wall with a large plastic bottle on the top or you will see plastic water bottles sitting on people’s desks. With no physical office, this means there is no requirement to keep yourself, staff, and visitors hydrated. This results in a reduction in the purchase of bottled water and ultimately single-use plastic which has a devastating effect on the environment.
Less Paper Waste
We’ve all seen it before. Someone struggling with the office printer or photocopier who then accidentally prints 100 pages in error which have to be shredded and binned. Going virtual means no more office photocopier, no more printer, no more shredder, and a huge reduction in paper waste, making your company more eco-friendly. You may still need to use a printer for your job but if you have your own printer at your place of work the chances are that you will be more familiar with it and there will be less risk of printing mishaps. Employees are also likely to be more thoughtful when making decisions about printing documents. Especially if they are using their own printer and their own paper from their chosen place of work.
Less Files, Fewer Cabinets, and Less Storage
One of the fundamental aspects of any business is keeping detailed records regarding business activities. For many businesses, this leads to the generation of piles and piles of paper. Going virtual encourages businesses to implement electronic file storage systems. This means less paper, fewer filing cabinets, and fewer trips back and forth to storage facilities to drop off and retrieve archived data.
Less Tech Equipment
Think of a typical office environment consisting of several staff members. There will be a number of laptops. A few handsets sitting on desks, security equipment, hard-drives etc, etc. Perhaps some large and noisy servers installed in some parts of the building. To be able to run a successful Virtual Business, having a solid IT structure is crucial. With advances in technology, it means that you can now give up much of the hardware sitting in your office that you were told that you needed 5 or 10 years ago when you first set up. Cloud-based servers, email clients, and VoIP phone servers are now the norm. Virtual Offices and Cloud-Based Services work hand in hand when it comes to going Green.
Reduction of Every Day Waste
Other than the commute to and from the office have you ever thought about the carbon footprint each member of staff in the office leaves behind on a daily basis? Flushing the toilet, using toilet roll, using hand towels, washing their hands, using handwash and sanitizer, putting their lunch in the fridge, washing their dishes, using washing up liquid, creating an environment where cleaners and maintenance people are regularly required and need to use cleaning products and other materials to do their job? Working virtually can drastically reduce your carbon footprint and the waste associated with all of these kinds of activities.
In summary, going Virtual will almost certainly reduce your Carbon Footprint. It’s just a case of deciding if you are ready to give up the office as your central base for operations.