The news: Working from home during the pandemic shifted energy use, but it did not reduce it significantly, per Protocol.
More on this: A white paper by Steve Cicala, associate professor of economics at Tufts University, studied the energy impact of one-third of the US workforce working from home in 2020, as well as the ramifications of the impending mass return to offices.
The grass isn’t always greener: As tech companies come to terms with bringing employees back to office, as well as establishing permanent hybrid and fully remote workforces, they need to assess whether they’re just displacing energy consumption onto their remote employees. Many tech firms are aspiring to become carbon neutral, a few have ambitious net zero goals; and some are even proactively offsetting the difference.
The takeaway: As workers return to offices there will be an uptick in greenhouse gases and energy consumption. The pressure is now on businesses to better manage their collective company carbon footprint including that of their employees.