The Future of Work and Corporate Sustainability

Emily LovelaceBy Emily Lovelace on May 14, 2021

Key Points:

  • Global benefits to WFH
  • Future of work
  • Corporate responsibility

The future of work has changed drastically since COVID started. From countless zoom calls to the adjustment in your everyday workplace, we’ve seen more changes in the general landscape of work than ever before. One of the benefits of being in the staffing industry is being able to take a front seat to these changes. Since the beginning of the pandemic in March of 2020, we’ve seen a steady resurgence of hiring goals and back-to-office adjustments taking place. We’ve seen numerous changes to our work-life for example hybrid work schedules, new office layouts, and new cleaning initiatives to secure a COVID-free workplace have become a ‘new normal’ – a necessary catalyst to return to our previous ways of gathering. 

Outside of these practical changes, we are also seeing adjustments to how companies are taking into consideration initiatives that were once put on the back burner such as environmental considerations, work-life balance, and others, though what does this all mean for our environment and the future of work in this “new normal”?

Like many within the global remote workforce, significant changes have occurred since my daily commute to the office. Although I miss both meaningful conversations and an uplifting chat with my colleagues over coffee, I must say that my mornings have been brightened since the stay-at-home order took place and the daily commute was removed. Don’t get me wrong – I love my daily morning commute podcasts and carpool/karaoke playlists, as much as the next girl, but there’s something about that additional hour dedicated to settling into my morning that makes this work from home mandate more manageable (at least until we can all return to work safely). 

As you can imagine, I’m not the only one enjoying the benefits of a reduced commute, the environment is seeing significant positive side effects as well. It’s no surprise that since WFH took place for a majority of Americans (and frankly, the world), we’ve seen a drastic reduction in emissions due to the lack of a morning commute, amongst other contributing factors. According to a research study published during the pinnacle of COVID restrictions, daily emissions from surface transport (trains, buses, cars, etc.) were reduced by an impressive 36%, and air flight travel was down by an incredible 60% (Yoder, 2020). With the future of our work landscape and interactions changing drastically, there’s a beautiful silver lining coupled with meaningful opportunities for the earth to reclaim decades of damage from global emissions. With the ire of public attention-drawing near to the unsustainable practices of the path, now is the opportunity for corporate ownership of sustainable practices. 

The data speaks for itself – in a recent survey on the importance of corporate ownership and practices respondents 40% shared that they have chosen a job because the company performed better on sustainability than other choices. As for employee retention, 70% of Millennials said they would stay with a company if it had a strong sustainability plan.

Outside of the workforce driving sustainable initiatives, we’ve also seen lasting changes from the future of remote work transforming corporate footprints. One example of this is the reduced need for corporate real estate and its corresponding impact on the environment. According to corporate real estate professionals, the use of remote work and virtual meetings will last beyond the COVID-19 crisis (Buisness Facilities, 2020). This means we have an opportunity to reduce the mass heating, cooling, and overall real estate impact of once necessary offices which have played a huge role in the corporate footprint (Buisness Facilities, 2020). While these aren’t the end solutions for eradicating global emissions, both are small triumphant victories for not only the awareness of how employment and sustainability are interlinked but an opportunity to move forward with sustainable practices in mind. Visit our ECOPHORIA (https://spectraforce.com/about-community#ecophoria) page to learn about some of the sustainability initiatives we have committed to. 

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Image from Canva

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