As awareness of the impact of human activity on the environment and climate change continues to grow, more people are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. One solution gaining popularity in recent years is local coworking spaces in the suburbs – collaborative workspaces shared by people from different industries and companies
Local coworking spaces have the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the International Energy Agency, transportation is the world’s largest source of carbon emissions. Commuting to work being a significant contributor. By working from a local coworking space instead of commuting to a central office, emissions could be reduced by up to 90%.
Based on a study by the DCE in the UK, a standard commute results in commuting emissions of 7.0 kgCO2e/day in an average car travelling 16.1 km each way. With the long distances between suburbs in Johannesburg and the city centres, the emissions from the daily commute to and from work have substantial impactand choosing to work from your local coworking space in your suburb can result in great reductions in these emissions.
In addition to reducing carbon emissions, coworking spaces can also combat the urban heat island effect – where cities are warmer than surrounding rural areas. Sustainably built coworking spaces in suburban areas can reduce temperatures by up to 2°C, by counteracting the heat-absorbing materials such as concrete used in excess in urban cities.
The benefits of coworking spaces extend beyond environmental impact.
Coworking spaces offer individuals an improved work-life balance, increased productivity, and promotes innovation and collaboration. Local coworking spaces encourage the exchange of ideas and knowledge among people from different backgrounds and industries, resulting in new and innovative solutions.
Many companies have successfully adopted a decentralised working model. For example, Buffer – a social media management company – has a fully remote team. Their management encourages employees to work from where they are most productive. Similarly, Basecamp – a project management software company – has a distributed team, and employees can work from home or coworking spaces.
Despite the benefits, adopting a decentralised working model can pose challenges. Effective communication and collaboration are essential for remote teams to work effectively. Not all employees may be suited to working independently.
In conclusion, coworking spaces offer an opportunity to combat climate change, reduce environmental impact, and encourage collaboration and innovation. As more companies consider the benefits, we may see a shift towards a more sustainable and collaborative way of working.