Home / Carbon emissions / Workers dislike of Mondays and Fridays threatens post-Covid-19 environmental dividend 

Workers dislike of Mondays and Fridays threatens post-Covid-19 environmental dividend 

New working practices mean workers will still split their time between the office and home following their return to the workplace later this year, however analysis by global consultancy Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA) has found that people want to work from home on the same days – Mondays and Fridays – so that their 2-3 days in the office are all bunched together, which threatens to undermine many of the benefits of a part-time working-from-home revolution prompted by the changes that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought.

AWA has calculated that with smart working practices post-Covid-19, office workers could cut their annual CO2 emissions by an average of 26 per cent, saving the UK a massive 10.5 million tonnes of CO2 a year, the equivalent of  seven million return flights from London to New York.

Andrew Mawson, founder of AWA said: “Analysis we’ve conducted, along with studies around the world, show that people will want to change the way they work when this pandemic is over, coming into the office on average just two or three days a week. However, we predict that with their new-found flexibility almost everyone wants to go into the office on the same days, avoiding Mondays and Fridays so they can ‘shoulder’ the weekend.  

“Unless leaders act to manage when people come into the office and introduce flexible models of office working when they are in, then offices will end up nearly empty, with no buzz, for large stretches of the week.”  

AWA has drawn up a new model for office utilisation that would allow companies to have busy, productive workspaces throughout the week.

Based on detailed studies that AWA has conducted, the average annual CO2 emissions of a British office worker can be cut from 5.69 tonnes to 4.23 tonnes taking in savings in office usage, commuting, business travel and consumables, such as printing or paper, offset by extra heating, lighting etc use at home.  If all 7.22 million knowledge-based office workers in the UK worked smartly, the total annual saving could be 10.5 million tonnes of CO2, the equivalent of three per cent of the UK’s total emissions.

William Buller, AWA’s Low Carbon Working consultant said:  “Smart working means that offices can save on the amount of space they use, as well as heating, lighting and other consumables, and also reap a massive dividend in cutting their environmental footprint by nearly two fifths. With organisations under pressure from the Government as part of the UK’s target to move to net zero by 2050, this is a potential win-win for everyone.”  

To download the report click here.

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