Remote Working for Mental Health and Climate Change

Introduction: The Benefits of Onlineness

Car, rail, and airplane travel cost charities and businesses fortunes. Not only is travel time consuming and unproductive, it can be incredibly stressful and pollute our atmosphere. Planning takes time, traffic can cause delays, flights can get cancelled, and accidents can happen. Stress and air pollution can make people sick. Illness or mental health problems (like social anxiety) can lead to higher rates of absenteeism. Absenteeism in workplaces further damages business and the economy at large. Remote working provides an opportunity to cut costs and boost productivity.

Companies like Microsoft are working with virtual presence units. These are remote controlled video interfaces on wheels. This is particularly good news for people with disabilities (e.g., people with mobility issues) who might otherwise never get to experience moving about their employer's place of work. Certain forms of neurodiversity can make eye to eye contact difficult, or make it difficult to deal with loud sounds like construction work. Software can filter out some of these issues and empower people to do more with their time. Online activity can facilitate record keeping and transparency. More and more companies are moving online but there are still many stragglers. Going online is no brainer for many businesses, so why are some groups still not doing it?

Business Culture: The Problem and Solution

One definition of culture is that it is the worst behaviour a group will tolerate. Bad behaviour is more tolerable if it's normalised. Going on trips can be fun. The idea of hosting a meeting in a luxurious resort is extremely appealing to groups that can afford it. Some people get paid for travel time so there can be an incentive for individuals and groups to be wasteful. CloudAssist is a Gold Microsoft Partner on a mission to challenge this culture. They work on software based solutions to track and reward travel avoidance for carbon management. They encourage businesses to reward their employees for travel avoidance with incentives such as time off or extra pay. Overall the businesses save money, productivity goes up, employees get more bang for their buck, traffic goes down, and the air is better for everyone.

When it comes to encouraging social good, another factor at play are goverment policies. More local councils and nations need to facilitate and pave the way for businesses to change. Anything that helps get air pollution down is going to reduce the pressure on health systems. The climate crisis is hurting communities on a global scale so the need for change is urgent. Remote working on its own can't fix everything, but it can sure help an enourmous amount, and the more people who know and think about it the better.

We welcome feedback

Author: David Tierney. Send tips or suggestions to Transparency disclosure: David has volunteered for CloudAssist before.