For many of us, working from home is the dream. When Refinery29 surveyed 1,000 millennial women across the UK, a massive 80% said they would like to work from home if they had the opportunity.
The potential benefits are obvious: no more commuting, no office politics, no separate working wardrobe, no need to meal prep if you want to save money on lunch, and the option to work in a way that suits you. If your brain works best at 7am, working from home gives you the opportunity to make the most of that early morning sharpness.
Now research by environmental experts at management consultancy firm WSP has found that working from home can also help to reduce your carbon footprint, but only in summer.
In fact, working from home instead of the office during summer saves the typical British commuter around 400kg of carbon emissions each year, which equates to 5% of their annual carbon footprint. This is because the carbon emissions produced by commuting exceeds those you'd create by simply using energy at home.
However, working from home all year round isn't so environmentally-friendly. WSP researchers found that if the typical British commuter worked at home throughout the year, their carbon footprint would be 80% higher than the average office worker because of the huge carbon emissions produced by central heating in colder months.
It's worth bearing in mind, though, that these calculations are based on just one person working from home, If several people were working from the same flat or house, they'd be able to "share" the carbon emissions produced by central heating.
David Symons, UK Director of Sustainability at WSP, said: “Much of the information around the benefits of working from home centre on flexible working and increased wellbeing of employees, which are very important, but it’s exciting to see that our data shows it can also be good for the environment.
"Working from home in the summer and from the office in winter, is only a small step towards a zero-carbon economy, but an easy one for companies to consider!”