This is the hidden benefit of flexible working

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Growth in demand for flexible workspaces in New Zealand is increasing, with more than a third (39%) of office tenants considering flexible solutions for the future, according to CBRE.

In fact, the CBRE Pacific’s Corporate Co-working Survey: The Future is Flexible report shows in the next two years, 47% of New Zealand office tenants plan to reduce their traditional leased office footprint space, while 47% are looking to increase co-working space use.

Moreover, in New Zealand an increase in flexible working will reduce levels of carbon dioxide by 900,000 tonnes per year by 2030. Globally, 214 million tonnes per year will be saved, according to a new study by Regus.

The economic study, carried out by independent researchers, found that if the growth in flexible workspace continues to increase, people around the world would save more than 3.53 billion hours commuting every year by 2030.

The amount of carbon dioxide saved by this global reduction is equivalent to the amount of carbon sequestered by 5.5 billion trees over ten years.

The reduction in carbon dioxide levels in New Zealand is based on workers saving between 7.7 million and 8.7 million hours of commuting time per annum.

Moreover, the nation which would see the largest annual carbon emission saving by 2030 is the United States.

It is predicted to save nearly 960 million hours in commuting time, and with commuters relying heavily on cars, this time saved translates to over 100 million tonnes of CO2.

In contrast, Singapore and Hong Kong are comparatively modest (both saving around 200,000 tonnes p.a. by 2030).

This is because the population is comparatively smaller (much like New Zealand), but also because public transport in those countries play a much larger role in getting people to work.

Pierre Ferrandon, New Zealand Country Manager for Regus, said simply changing the dominant culture of commuting to a central office for work could contribute towards climate change goals.

“According to the UN Environment Program, the world needs to slash its annual greenhouse gas emissions by an additional 12 to 14 billion metric tonnes by 2030 to have a chance of limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius,” he said.

He added that by allowing workers to set up at an office space closer to home, and cut down on commuting, millions of tonnes of carbon could be saved each year.

“With an environment in crisis, offering flexible working isn’t just a business or personal imperative, but one that also benefits the planet and future generations.”

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