No more traffic jams, no more angry boss; it’s just you and your work. This dream is becoming a reality for more and more people. According to the Office of National Statistics, 13.7% of the U.K. workforce now work from home. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, meanwhile, reports that around 24% of employed people in the USA did some or all of their work from home.
Thankfully, working from home already has environmental benefits: by reducing road congestion and CO2 emissions from travel, for example. Saving energy is a concern for many, and even game designers seem to recognize this. The recent PokerStars Power Up game relies on the player conserving energy and using it wisely. But what can we do to save more energy while working from home?
Without a doubt, there are a few main ways you use energy when you work from home. Most of your usage will come from lights and heating, and from your computer and other electronic equipment. You can contact the Socal Electrical company to give you a closer estimation of the energy you are using.
First, let the light in! Open your curtains nice and wide and flood your home with natural light. Now turn all your lights off. You’ll also need to set your workstation up in a part of your home that is well lit in the daytime. This will reduce energy use from overhead lights and desk lamps. Natural light is also really good for you, and is said to enhance mood and productivity.
Next up are your heating and cooling costs. If you work from home, chances are you will be working alone. And heating or cooling the whole house when you are the only one in it is always a waste. Instead, dress appropriately. During warmer months, opt for light clothing, perhaps with the addition of an electric fan that can keep your space cool and use less energy than your A/C system. Dress warmly with extra layers in the winter months, and even add a blanket if you need one. If you must put use central heating when your home is really cold in the winter, then heat only the room that you work in. Use your fireplace if you
have one or turn all of the other radiators off. Perhaps use a small space heater in the room instead of turning on the whole system.
Now you need to think about your electrical equipment. Do you really need to have it on all the time? Get into the habit of unplugging anything that you are not using when you work, as well as when you are relaxing. Specifically, turn off and unplug your TV, printers and extra computers and equipment as this will have the added benefit of reducing any distractions.
Of course, your computer itself will consume energy. There’s not much you can do about this if you work from it, but what you can do is work smarter hours. Very often, people who work on their computers spend a good few hours a day online when they don’t have to be. Instead, reduce your browsing and social media time and work fewer hours. In other words, aim to get your workload done in a shorter amount of time. This will also help you to eliminate procrastination and increase your productivity.
You may also want to invest in energy-efficient equipment. This can be costly at first but could save you energy and money in the long-run. Namely, trade in your older gear for equipment with a high energy-efficiency rating. You can also set your computer up for energy saving, as well as use smart devices to manage the flow of electricity to devices that are not in use.
Finally, you can switch to a renewable energy provider. This might not actually save you energy, but it does mean less consumption of fossil fuels and a greener future for the planet. Many providers now offer a 100% renewable energy contract.