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With world leaders gathered in Glasgow this autumn for the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (better known as COP26) there is huge momentum growing to find solutions to tackle the climate emergency. The hope is to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees – something that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest report has said is still possible to achieve – but only if unprecedented action is taken now.
For most companies and organisations, the state of the planet – and their own impact on it – is now of pressing concern. Fortunately, the hybrid model of working – where employees spend their week working at a combination of a central HQ, their home and a shared flexspace – offers many tangible ways of lowering a business’s overall environmental footprint. Here’s how…
According a white paper called ‘Hybrid World: Sustainable World’ from Regus parent company IWG, allowing people to work closer to home saves an average of 7,416 commuting hours per Regus centre per year, which equates to 118 metric tonnes of carbon.
As hybrid working becomes more prevalent, the large global footprint of Regus centres – with a growing proportion outside city centres – plays a key role in this new work paradigm by enabling companies to find workspaces close to where their employees live. The result will be fewer commutes that pollute the environment.
“In the near future, we believe that there will be a professional workspace available everywhere – from the largest city to the smallest village,” says Mark Dixon, Founder and CEO of IWG. “People want to work close to where they live. This is a trend that’s going to stick.” This is evidenced by the use of Regus workspaces outside of London’s orbital M25 motorway, which have been surging in popularity over the last two years.
Hybrid working means that employees don’t all need to be accommodated in a dedicated office that people attend daily, which allows companies to downsize their premises and even close some of their offices permanently. One of the benefits is lower energy and water consumption – plus cheaper bills.
By shifting their focus to flexspace instead, they will also find that they get access to state-of-the-art buildings that have impressive eco credentials. Norway’s Regus Trondheim, which opened in 2019, is a good example of this. It’s located in Powerhouse Brattørkaia, an ‘energy positive’ building clad in solar panels that actually creates more energy than it uses and also supplies renewable energy to neighbouring buildings, electric buses, cars and boats through a local microgrid.
Another sustainable flexspace is Regus One Welches in Barbados. This centre was designed with a super-efficient, low-waste air conditioning system. What’s more, the roof and car park of the building are covered in solar panels, and a curtain wall lets in a vast amount of natural light, reducing the need for lighting inside.
Engaging with environmental issues is now a matter of necessity, which in many cases requires a whole new way of thinking. With hybrid working giving people a chance to live and work more mindfully, the two will go hand in hand.
According to Dixon: ‘At IWG, we believe that the adoption of a hybrid working model brings considerable sustainability benefits and can be a major pillar in any company’s ESG agenda. And it can also be the foundation of a new approach to work and life that benefits both the planet and its people.’
With locations in thousands of neighbourhoods all over the world, find out how Regus can help your business thrive in the new, hybrid world of work